Volunteer Bureau to offer tax help

While figuring out their income tax may not be difficult for some, it can be stressful to others—especially if they can’t afford to hire a service to do it for them.
But the Fort Frances Volunteer Bureau once again is offering a helping hand, with volunteers donating their time to aid low-income families, the disabled, and the elderly prepare their income tax forms before the April 30 deadline, executive director Denise Audette said yesterday.
Starting March 1, those who want help with their taxes, but can’t afford to get them done at a firm, can just bring the applicable forms and information to the Volunteer Bureau (located in the old CN station).
The information then will be given to trained volunteers to complete.
As in previous years, the free help is aimed at those in a lower income bracket, noted Audette. Those with a net income of $25,000 or less ($30,000 or less for families) are eligible.
However, assistance will not be provided to those filing tax returns for the deceased or bankrupt, or those filing employment expenses, rental income, capital gains, foreign investments, giving or receiving support payments, or anything else that would be considered a “complex return,” she stressed.
Also, the tax return should only be for the 2006 tax year, not multiple years.
As of March 1, those who want help with their taxes just can bring the applicable forms and information to the Volunteer Bureau’s office Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. -3 p.m.
Audette said it’s important that those who do seek help must come prepared and bring all the necessary information with them. Even if the Volunteer Bureau has helped them file their taxes in the past, it will not have that information on file.
Likewise, those who get their tax return completed by the Volunteer Bureau should pick up their return (and accompanying financial information) once it is ready.
The Volunteer Bureau neither mails the return for the person nor keeps their financial information in file year after year.
“We’re not H&R Block,” noted Audette.
Audette said 27 volunteers are trained and in place this year to fill out the returns, noting they’ve attended a refresher course offered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
The Fort Frances Volunteer Bureau has been organizing this assistance for more than 10 years.
If you have any questions, call the Volunteer Bureau at 274-9555.

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