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

PHOTOS: New exhibition at Campbell River Art Gallery highlights women’s invisible labour

Exhibition titled Slow Technology features three artists; show runs until May 1

Accident blocks traffic south of Campbell River

Emergency crews were on the scene at an accident on the South… Continue reading

Crab poaching under cover of darkness earns 10-year commercial fishing ban, vessel seizure

A Cape Mudge resident involved in poaching dungeness crabs in Vancouver Harbour… Continue reading

SRD board wants more information on hall tax proposal

Cortes Islanders will be consulted before a vote on the matter

B.C. resident baffled about welcome mat theft

Security footage shows a woman and her dog taking the mat from the property on March 13

Father thanks B.C. Mountie for shooting hoops with kids, ‘changing perspectives’

‘We’re just like everyone else,’ says Surrey officer who stopped to play basketball with kids

2019 BUDGET: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

Stronger economy last year delivered unexpected revenue bump of an extra $27.8 billion over six years

Trans Mountain court hearing: B.C. says it won’t reject pipelines without cause

Canada says the proposed amendments to B.C.’s Environmental Management Act must be struck down

Carfentanil found in 15% of overdose deaths in January: B.C. coroner

Carfentanil is 100 times more powerful than illicit fentanyl and used to tranquilize elephants

B.C. father fights for his life after flu turns into paralyzing condition

Reisig has lost all motor skills with the exception of slight head, shoulder and face movements.

Suspicious fire in Alert Bay burns two homes, spreads to nearby bush

Police say underage suspects have been identified

B.C. wildfire prevention budget bulked up as dry spring unfolds

Night vision goggles tested for early detection effort

Vernon ordered to reinstate terminated firefighters caught having sex at work

City believes arbitration board erred, exploring options

Most Read