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Free tax-filing services available in Rainy River District

By Randy Thoms Mar 6, 2023 | 7:59 AM

Image: Randy Thoms

Free tax preparation support for low-income earners is back in Fort Frances.

The Fort Frances Volunteer Bureau is part of a federal program known as the Canadian Volunteer Income Tax program.

Chair Bill Michl says they have four volunteers and an intake person that will complete income tax forms at no cost.

“These are simple tax forms. It’s not like somebody in a business or somebody with a fishing boat or somebody with a farm,” says Michl. “It’s just straightforward T-4s fours or T5s and rent, stuff like that. So they get all their benefits from the Ontario government as well; the GST, the Trillium, and the Climate Action Change credit.”

Michl says the income threshold to take advantage of the free program is $35,000 or less for an individual and $42,000 or less for a family.

“A lot of people that walk around, homeless people, don’t realize that you don’t need income to fill out income tax. You get GST, or if you paid rent, any place, it doesn’t have to be where you’ve rented by the year or by the month. If you went over to (a motel) for three nights, that’s rent. You can claim that.”

There are benefits people are eligible for as well.

“So many people don’t think about those little things like the GST or the climate action, and everybody that  lives in the north or has a place that they call home or whatever they can apply for that.”

Eligible residents can drop off their tax forms at the bureau between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays for the rest of March and April.

Volunteers will fill out the forms and file them with the Canada Revenue Agency.

If a refund is identified, the CRA will flow the money directly to the person listed on the tax form.


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