The Beacon Community Services is offering a free drop off tax service at the SHOAL Centre in Sidney. Due to COVID-19, this year’s program is drop-off only. (Black Press Media file photo)

Peninsula program provides free tax returns

Beacon Community Service offers service for those with low to moderate incomes

Beacon Community Services is once again helping relieve residents of a tax-filing headache.

The service is offered for people of all ages with simple tax situations and low to moderate incomes. The maximum income to access the program for an individual is $35,000 and for a couple is $45,000.

The annual tax program has been active for 35 years, and last year, the BCS said they completed more than 1,100 income tax returns.

“The program’s volunteers are registered, screened and trained by the Canada Revenue Agency,” stated BCS in a press release.

This year’s program looks a little different – due to COVID-19 and social distancing measures, the service is drop-off only.

To use the service people are asked to bring their documents to the SHOAL Centre in Sidney, fill out the client form, put everything in an envelope and place it in the box at the front door. People are then asked to ring the doorbell to let staff know you are finished, and wait for a volunteer to contact you to go over your return before it is filed.

ALSO READ: B.C. unveils $5M for mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Though the SHOAL Centre has been closed to the public since mid-March, staff and volunteers are still working to provide support for local seniors. This includes serving meals, offering grocery deliveries, and conducting hundreds of weekly “check-in” calls for isolated seniors through the BC 211 initiative.

Seniors, along with anyone who feels in need of support, can dial 211 and they will be connected to someone from BCS.

“None of this would be possible without our dedicated staff and volunteers,” said Glenys Cavers, Beacon Community Services’ director of volunteer and seniors services. “We’re so grateful for every person who has been willing to give their time during this difficult period.”

Those looking for assistance can dial 211, or visit bc211.ca. For more information on the Beacon Community Services please visit www.beaconcs.ca.

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