For low-income and disabled people, filing taxes is a path to tax credits and qualifying for valuable assistance programs. (Dave Crosby/Flickr)

Help expands for disabled people to collect tax benefits

Year-round program extended to Victoria, Kelowna, Prince George

The B.C. government has provided an additional $1.14 million to the Disability Alliance of B.C. to expand its tax preparation program beyond Vancouver.

The assistance will be provided year-round in Kelowna, Victoria and Prince George as a result of the funding boost, Social Development Minister Shane Simpson said Thursday.

Filing annual tax returns is a valuable benefit to low-income disabled people, because it is the only way to qualify for the disability tax credit, GST tax credit and federal and provincial child benefits, Simpson said.

“This is also a critical and essential step in qualifying for the disability tax credit,” Simpson said. “If you do that you can then move forward with programs like the registered disability savings plan, which can provide thousands of dollars of additional income.”

The program, called Tax AID, has operated in Vancouver since 2015. It has assisted more than 650 people, some of whom had not filed taxes in several years. Multiple returns can be filed and years worth of benefits can result.

The program is delivered with assistance of the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Centre in Kelowna and the Together Against Poverty Society in Victoria.

“Many of our clients with disabilities tell us they are afraid to file income taxes in case they end up owing money,” said Tina Larouche of the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Centre.

Douglas King of the Together Against Poverty Society said filing taxes can also allow people to qualify for subsidized housing, which is income tested.

For low-income people who are not on disability assistance, free help is available for simple tax returns through the Canada Revenue Agency’s community volunteer income tax program, which is offered in 50 B.C. communities.

Just Posted

Mayor David Screech says Camp Namegans has run its course

Break-in on private property in View Royal linked to homeless campers

Island Health encourages sexual assault survivors to #TrustYourself

New social media campaign urges survivors of sexual assault to seek medical care

Resident charged $48,350 fine for poisoning large Oak Bay tree

The district says this amount represents the appraised value of the tree

BC Ferries not as full as reported due to ability to book consecutive sailings

Multiple reservation booking strategy artificially inflates BC Ferries “current conditions”

‘She’s charging. Oh God’: Mama grizzly runs at B.C. man armed with shotgun

People online were quick to question – and defend – a man’s decision to shoot a grizzly bear charging him on a Bella Coola front yard

Canada announces $20M fund for women entrepreneurs

New federal program will provide up to $100,000 for female business owners to grow their operations

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Oct. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Vancouver Island man claims falling ice smashed his truck windshield

Man discovered volleyball-sized chunk ice on his truck Saturday, near Nanaimo, B.C.

B.C. veteran combats PTSD in the ring and on the farm

Cam Tetrault is a valuable contributor at Quesnel’s Two Rivers Boxing Club

Fast ferries from B.C. spotted in Egypt

Controversial aluminum BC Ferries vessels ’big white elephants covered in dust,’ eyewitness says

Canadian troops, families take shelter in hotel after Florida hurricane

Most of the Canadians were evacuated from the military base before Hurricane Michael

B.C. jury trial hears police-sting audio of man accused of killing girl, 12

Garry Handlen has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder of Monica Jack on May 6, 1978.

5 tips to keep trick-or-treaters safe this Halloween

BC Children’s Hospital has a few suggestions to keep Oct. 31 fun

Most Read