If you are referring clients to tax clinics or partnering with other organizations that offer this service, you do not need a lot of resources. However, there are things you can do to support people to file their taxes.
- You may consider hosting a group information session on the benefits to filing taxes to drum up interest and help community members get prepared to file and learn where to go to get support in the community.
- Embed tax filing preparation or assistance into other programs or services such as settlement or financial coaching.
- Provide supported virtual tax filing to remote communities or those who may find it difficult to come in person (provided they have reliable Internet access). There is free tax software available through both commercial and government programs
- Look for, or develop assisted tax filing programs in your area, such as what is offered by the Toronto Public Library.
- Consider organizing a virtual self-filing program to support people when filing their own taxes. We have a Guide to Virtual Self-file to help you get started.
- Deliver workshops for the public on tax preparation, tax documents, and tax software
- Deliver workshops for other local organizations on tax filing and financial literacy.
In some cases, it makes more sense to partner with a local organization that already provides tax filing services, or that has more capacity to establish a tax filing program. If you decide to partner your role may include:
- Promote the tax clinic (CVITP or not) to your clients, and/or through your marketing channels (newsletter, social media, website, committees etc.); start promoting early in January if possible
- Provide information on eligibility for the tax clinic; it should be included in all marketing materials
- Train your staff to know how to screen clients for eligibility, and how to refer clients to the clinics.
- Support the clinic financially or with equipment such as laptops, as funding for tax clinics is limited.
Community Financial Counselling Services (CFCS) has been offering tax filing support for over 45 years. They have developed the expertise to meet the complex and often unique needs of individuals and families in Manitoba who are experiencing financial challenges. They also build capacity through collaborative partnerships with other organizations, and advocate for accessible, affordable, and appropriate financial services for all Manitobans.
AFOA Canada and AFOA Canada members support the Indigenous community by delivering a virtual tax clinic through Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) online platform.