Oshawa Tax clinic

Free Tax Clinic Helps Low-Income Families

03
.11

“Income-tax time creates incredible stress for me,” says Rosemary. The cost of having income taxes prepared by tax firms starts at $60. For Rosemary, whose been laid off from her factory job, that’s a big deal.

Due to circumstances beyond her control, Rosemary asked The Salvation Army for assistance to complete her tax forms through its free income-tax clinic in Oshawa, Ont. While her financial situation was dire, she didn’t want to skip filing her returns. “If I don’t file, I don’t get benefits,” says the 52-year-old. “And I just can’t afford to lose them.”

Chartered Accountant, Matt Sanders, has volunteered at the Army’s Oshawa clinic for six years. “The need for this free service is critical,” says Matt. “If people can’t afford to have their tax forms completed, they don’t file. And the impact of not filing means they don’t qualify for the GST credit, property tax credit, or child tax benefits. That can add up to more than $100 dollars a month in someone’s pocket. That’s substantial for people who are hurting financially.”

For a multitude of reasons, Salvation Army tax clinics are easing pressures that already exist for individuals and families who are on a low/fixed income.

As tax time draws nearer, John’s pressures mount. A victim of child abuse, his emotional pain has long outlasted the visible wounds he suffered from bruises, punching, and binding. “I just can’t handle one more thing,” says John. “Even the stress of completing a simple form is overwhelming.”

Jamie attends the clinic because he has difficulty concentrating and making decisions. A few years ago he lost his job as a truck driver when he was diagnosed with depression and delusional disorder.

“I trust The Salvation Army to calculate my forms correctly,” says Jamie. “And I feel normal here. Many in society are uncomfortable around me. Everyone here accepts me, and that’s amazing!”

Every day there are Canadians who have to make choices that no-one should have to make. By offering free tax-services, this is one more way The Salvation Army and its programs help people find hope, courage and the strength to move forward when life hits hard.

 

2 Comments

Tax time - The Official Westcoast Reader

[…] the links:More information on personal income tax in B.C. Tax credits for B.C. residents Salvation Army helps low-income families Tax help Volunteers can help you with your taxes. Tax help is free to low-income families. There […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Salvation Army helps Bryon get through one more day

When Life Hit Hard

09
.03

Byron was 18 years sober, managing mental illness and PTSD, was gainfully employed as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) and in a long-term relationship. But just when he thought things were going well, a few curveballs sent him on a downward spiral and he couldn’t see a way out.  

“It was Christmastime 2013,” says Byron. “My girlfriend and I split up. Then my mom, who suffered with dementia, had two strokes and was put in a nursing home. For the […]

Vulnerable youth find safety and hope at The Salvation Army

Improving Lives of Vulnerable Youth

08
.31

Winnipeg consistently has the highest rate of robbery, sexual assault, and violent crime of any large Canadian city.

The Salvation Army’s Barbara Mitchell Family Resource Centre’s youth drop-in program not only provides a safe alternative to the streets, but its staff and volunteers are mentors who support youth, ages 13-17, when they need it most. 

“The youth drop-in program is open during critical hours when kids aren’t in school,” says Hurmat Habib, mentor. “It isn’t just about playing basketball in the gym […]