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

Aftershock soccer tournament takes over Port Hardy fields

Around the clock matches were played in divisions ranging from tots to U18.

Eke Me-Xi Learning Centre’s 2018-2019 graduating class

The Eke Me-Xi Learning Centre is located on the Tsulquate reserve in the North Island.

Skin deep: A look inside the ink behind Beacon Tattoo

Patrick Berube, owner of Beacon Tattoo, spends most of his Tuesdays at… Continue reading

Second recreational cannabis shop opens its doors in Port Hardy

Pacificanna owner Darren Saunders was excited to finally see his family-run business open up shop.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: A lone crow landing beside an eagle

“I saw an eagle just sitting there, but I had a feeling it wouldn’t be there long as I got closer”

VIDEO: Clip of driver speeding past B.C. school bus alarms MLA

Laurie Throness of Chilliwack-Kent says he will lobby for better safety measures

Former Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo to retire

‘Bobby Lou’ calls it a career after 19 NHL seasons

Man charged in crash that killed B.C. pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged for 2018 Highway 1 accident where Kelowna elementary school teacher died

Province unveils 10-year plan to boost mental health, addiction recovery services

The plan, called A Pathway to Hope, focuses on early-intervention services that are seeing high demand

Rock slide in B.C. river may hinder salmon passage

DFO says it is aware that the slide occurred in a narrow portion of the Fraser River

Four-hour tarmac delay violates charter rights of Canadians with a disability: lawsuit

Bob Brown says new rules reduce the distance he can travel by air without putting his health at risk

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

UPDATE: Shrapnel narrowly missed firefighters in ‘suspicious’ North Island house fire

No injuries reported; firefighters prevented blaze from spreading

Most Read