Tax filing season is here and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) would like to remind individuals with modest incomes that volunteers are available in the community to help with the preparation of tax returns.

Through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP), the CRA has linked with community organizations for 46 years, training volunteers to complete basic tax returns. The community organizations hold free tax preparation clinics where the volunteers complete tax returns for qualifying individuals. Even if there is no income to report for 2016, filing an income tax and benefit return is important to receive certain tax credits and benefits.

“We encourage individuals who need help with their tax returns to use the volunteer program,” says Zubie Vuurens, CRA’s regional CVITP coordinator. “The service is free and filing a tax return ensures they receive the benefits and credits they’re entitled to without interruption.”

Last year, in British Columbia and the Yukon, 2,391 volunteers and 345 community organizations in B.C. and Yukon helped 113,309 people prepare and file their returns. Through the dedication of these volunteers, thousands of Canadians understood and met their tax obligations and continued to receive their tax credits and benefits on time.

To determine if you are eligible for this service call the CRA toll free at 1-888-805-6662, or visit www.cra.gc.ca/volunteer.

Taxpayers are reminded to bring all of their 2016 slips and receipts and a copy of their 2015 tax return and Notice of Assessment. A complete listing of locations, time and dates for the Surrey area can be found here.