Camosun College accounting student Sophia Ng, who volunteers with Saanich Volunteer Services, prepares a 2018 tax return for resident Patrick McGaw at the Community tax program in Cedar Hill Rec. Centre. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Saanich volunteers offer free tax prep for older adults

Free tax prep for older adults, people with diverse abilities, newcomers, students who earn less than $35,000

It’s tax time and for thousands of seniors in the region that means filing a fairly uncomplicated tax return.

Each year Saanich Volunteer Services offers free tax return preparation clinics in March and April. This year, that service has expanded into the Cedar Hill Recreation Centre.

The income tax clinics are not reserved to seniors, as they are open to older adults as well as people with diverse abilities, newcomers and students, all with an annual income of $35,000 or less and a fairly simple tax return.

“We’re excited to be in Cedar Hill Rec.,” said Cherie Miltimore, volunteer co-ordinator with Saanich Volunteer Services. “It’s new this year, we haven’t done it there before. We are always looking to improve our service so we asked Saanich and they said yes.”

READ MORE: Saanich rejects call for tax relief confirming commercial share of taxes

The experience is more personable than before when residents would visit the McRae House to drop off their taxes and then get a call to pick it up a later date.

“Clients come in quite stressed and they leave smiling, it’s nice to watch, they feel really good,” Miltimore said.

Clients in remiss can also bring tax returns from previous years, granted they meet the criteria. The tax prep service at Cedar Hill is not restricted to Saanich residents.

“We also have a residential and in-home service for Saanich residents only,” Miltimore added.

Appointments at Cedar Hill have been full since the program started on March 1. To book a spot call Saanich Volunteer Services at 250-595-8008.

The clinics run Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons from 12:30 to 4 p.m., Saturday afternoons from 12:30 to 3 p.m., and Thursdays from 4:30 to 8 p.m. The service ends April 29.

Tax return services are done in partnership with Canadian Revenue Association’s Community Volunteer Income Tax Program and Saanich Parks and Recreation.

reporter@saanichnews.com


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