Volunteers sought to help complete simple tax returns

Whether you’re ready or not, it’s that time again: tax season.

Whether you’re ready or not, it’s that time again: tax season.

Since many people break out in sweats at the thought of completing their taxes or coming up with the money to have someone else do it, the Canada Revenue Agency is looking for volunteers to help through a system organized by the Castlegar and District Community Services Society (CDCSS.)

“We need volunteers like you to provide this important community service to individuals who have low incomes and simple tax situations,” the revenue agency said.

Margit Hess, CDCSS board member is recruiting volunteers for this year, and said training takes place on Feb. 15 at 9 a.m. at the Castlegar Complex.

No heavy-duty math skills are required to volunteer, and there isn’t a certain amount of time you have to commit.

“Anybody who’s interested can volunteer,” she said.

Volunteers won’t be required to complete complicated tax forms, such as those for the deceased, bankrupt individuals or individuals who report capital gains or losses, employment expenses or rental income and expenses.

“It’s the very simplest kind where they just have Canada pensions and old age pensions,” she said.

Once trained, volunteers will help complete tax forms in April.

Volunteers must respect confidentiality, decline offers of monetary reward and return all personal documents.

“As a volunteer, you will meet people who, like you, want to lend a hand at tax time,” according to the revenue agency. “You will also have the satisfaction of knowing that you are providing a service to those who many need it the most.”

“The [revenue agency] supports the program by providing training, software and a kit of handy reference material to every community organization and volunteer across the country.”

If interested, potential volunteers must sign up by Feb. 7 by visiting www.cra-arc.gc.ca/volunteer and clicking “Lend a hand! Become a tax volunteer.”

Hess said she hopes people will consider becoming a volunteer.

“If we have more volunteers we can help more people,” she said.

For more information, call Hess at 365-8152, Andrew Earnshaw at CDCSS at 365-2104, or contact the Canada Revenue Agency at 1-800-959-8281.