Article: Free Income Tax Clinics at The Working Centre

As seen in Good Work News, Issue 109, June 2012 - click here for the full issue

On Monday, April 30th as the deadline for tax season approached, The Working Centre’s 58 Queen resource centre was bustling.  Through March and April we had been assisting low income earners to file their Income Tax returns. The deadline brought even more people to the centre.

The Working Centre has offered Free Income Tax Clinics in conjunction with Canada Revenue’s CVITP (Community Volunteer Income Tax Program) for the past few years.  This year, with help from the Region of Waterloo, we piloted a new model for these clinics. By posting a call for volunteers in Good Work News and spreading the word, we had 27 committed volunteers. 

Previously, tax clinics were by appointment only. This year in addition to appointments, there were three drop-in clinics a week and a drop-off service.

Altogether we served 90% more people.  In 2011 our Free Income Tax Clinics completed 115 returns, this year The Working Centre processed 1145 tax returns. 

The success was due to our 27 volunteers who staffed each clinic.  The volunteers at the resource centre wove themselves into the tapestry of Working Centre life. Other volunteers worked in the evenings processing dropped off tax returns. In all cases the contributions made by these dedicated individuals was invaluable. 

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