Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) is calling out for volunteers to assist them in their Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP), across the Westman Region, and more specifically in certain communities where the PMH is lacking in volunteers.
The CVITP is a free service to help low-income individuals (for example, single individual less than $35,000 annual income) with simple tax situations complete and file their income tax and benefit return. Completing an income tax return can improve income by providing access to federal, provincial and local benefits and programs.
"This program is sponsored by Canada Revenue Agency and is a mechanism to help low-income people get their tax returns filed," explains Brett Turner one of the leads in the CVITP program. "In getting your income tax filed ensures you get access to all of the different programs that are available to support and help people to maximize their income."
Turner says the CRA provides the software to do the income tax filing and so certainly having experience in filing an income tax return is a good skill to have, but more importantly, they would like people who have familiarity with using a computer and computer software programs to apply for these positions. He notes this service is for simple, basic tax returns and is not suitable for a more extensive or complex return.
"The program is good so it's having access to a computer and internet and being comfortable in using a computer is probably more important than tax knowledge," he adds. "The program starts late in February and runs to the end of April, so just a little more than two months.
The CVITP program has been helping folks file their income tax since the early 1970's and PMH has been involved since around 2001.
"Just to give you impact of our program, we try and calculate an estimate of how much extra dollars we're putting into people's pockets and how much they're saving by not paying somebody $100-$200 to do their tax return," shares Turner. "Last year we estimate that we had an economic impact in Westman Manitoba of over $8 million."
Through the Prairie Mountain Health CVITP program last year, they completed 2800 tax returns across western Manitoba, and this number is on the rise as more folks are still coming out of Covid.
Volunteers are needed in the following communities: Boissevain, Brandon, Deloraine, Elkhorn, Minnedosa, Neepawa, Roblin, Shoal Lake, Souris, Ste.Rose and Virden.
Volunteers must meet the following criteria to be eligible to volunteer with the program:
- Have basic tax knowledge
- Experience completing simple tax returns preferred
- Comfortable using computer programs
- Able to commit a few hours per week during March and April
- In good standing with CRA for personal taxes
- Must be 18 years of age
- Must be a Canadian resident
- Must have a valid Social Insurance Number
- Access to a secure computer and the internet
- Willing to complete a criminal record check (new volunteers)
Online training will be provided.
For more information, please call 204- 578-4812 or email: BTurner2@pmh-mb.ca or JSexton@pmh-mb.ca.
Please listen to Brett Turner below on more on this volunteer opportunity!
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