Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) co-ordinator Surinderpal Rathor (from left) Judy Gibbons and Rajneesh Khugsal, seen here in 2020, are all ready to help people file their taxes. (Patrick Davies photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Williams Lake volunteers ready to offer community income tax program

Co-ordinator Surinderpal Rathor said he has already received inquiries

Williams Lake’s Community Volunteer Income Tax Program’s volunteers are ready with COVID-19 protocols in place.

“Things will be a little bit different,” said Surinderpal Rathor who is in his 46th year with the program.

“My colleagues and I will be following all the chief medical officer’s rules.

Judy Gibbons and Rajneesh Khugsal are part of the team and Rathor said they all love math and working with numbers.

The program is open to residents who are on social assistance, newcomers to Canada, persons with disabilities, seniors, students or Indigenous.

Rathor said the intent is not to take customers away from businesses that provide income tax services and the government has asked the volunteer program to refrain from filing returns for the self-employed, people with employment expenses, rental income, earned interest over $1,000, capital gains or losses, have filed bankruptcy or are wanting to file on behalf of a deceased person.

Read more: CERB recipients should be prepared to pay income tax on payments, experts say

All of the program’s volunteers have done a criminal record check.

Clients will need to sign a TIS60 form which gives permission for the volunteers to do the return and file it. Additionally, clients are asked to provide date of birth, social insurance number and most up-to-date phone number and address.

For medical expenses, a print out from a pharmacist with the year’s prescriptions is ideal. To claim medical travel benefit for travel more than 40 kilometres one way, the date, name of doctor will be required.

Anyone eligible for the disability tax credit will need to provide proof for the TDC2201.

Paper work can be dropped off at the Seniors Activity Centre, located at 176 Fourth Ave. North, every Tuesday in March from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. They can also be dropped off at the Cariboo Chilcotin Partners For Literacy office located at #302 – 172 Second Ave. North from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday to Friday.

There will be four sittings held at the CCPL office between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Tuesday, March 9 and Tuesday, March 23, Tuesday, April 6 and Tuesday, April 20. Income tax returns are not filed during the sittings, volunteers just receive the paper work and then do the e-filing on their home computers.

Sittings at residential facilities will be limited to residents only.

“I am asking everyone to respect the rules and wear a mask,” Rathor said.

Filing an income tax return is a must for anyone 18 years and over or who has received a T4.

All of the program’s volunteers have a completed criminal record check, Rathor said.

Anyone with questions can call Rathor anytime, within reason, at 250-392-0909.

If he doesn’t answer, leave a message, he said.

Diane Walters also completes income tax returns for women through the Women’s Contact Society in Williams Lake and said paper work can be dropped of at 51 Fourth Ave. South during opening hours.

On Jan. 31, Rathor retired from his position as an electrician for Tolko Industries, where he worked 46 years.

Aside from the income tax program he is also volunteers as a director on the board of the Williams Lake and District Credit Union.

Read more: COVID-19: Minimum income for farm tax status waived in B.C.

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