Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP)

Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP)

The Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) is an initiative of Canada's federal government that offers free tax preparation services to low-income Canadians with straightforward tax situations. Seniors (those 65 and above), people without stable housing, Indigenous Peoples, those with low to moderate incomes, newcomers, people with disabilities, and students can all participate in the program.

The CRA offers a table with proposed income levels based on family size to help people figure out if they have a modest income. A household with dependents and a total annual income below the thresholds shown in the table is considered to have a modest income. On the other hand, community groups may change their clients' income estimates in light of available resources in their areas.

An individual's tax situation is considered "simple" if their only sources of income are from their regular job, a pension, benefits (such as the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security, disability insurance, employment insurance, and social assistance), RRSPs, scholarships, fellowships, bursaries, grants, and interest (less than $1,000).

To sum up, the CVITP's overarching mission is to provide no-cost tax return preparation and filing assistance to those who qualify. This ensures that all eligible individuals can claim the benefits and credits to which they are entitled through the program.

Nevertheless, there is no guidance or training available in the program for more complicated tax circumstances. Tax returns for individuals with self-employment income or expenses, business income and expenses, rental income and expenses, interest income over $1,000, capital gains or losses, bankruptcy in the tax year or the prior tax year, deceased persons, foreign property (T1135), or foreign income other than U.S. Social Security benefits cannot be completed by volunteers.

Those who have a T4A with business or self-employment income in box 048 and whose total income is less than $1,000, for which no deductions were taken, and who are not registered for GST/HST are exempt from these requirements. U.S. Social Security recipients may also use the CVITP to file their tax returns, although individuals with complex tax situations due to investments or pensions earned abroad are not eligible.