Intimidated by filing taxes? It’s not as hard you think! Let us help you get it done.

Posted On Tuesday February 04, 2020

Doing your taxes can put money in your pocket. There are benefits, credits and tax deductions you could get if you do your taxes every year. During March and April, people with low to modest incomes and simple tax situations are supported to have their taxes completed for free by dedicated volunteers.  This program is run in partnership with Stony Plain FCSS and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). 

For individuals and families, filing tax returns on time helps to ensure that benefits such as GST rebates or the Canada Child Benefit are received.  For individuals and families receiving social assistance, filing tax returns on time helps to ensure continued financial support and decreases the risk of added financial difficulty.

“I don’t know where I would be. It’s wonderful to have people that will help, thank you for all you’ve done for me,” reports a past income tax program participant.

Stony Plain FCSS has successfully offered the community volunteer income tax program on an annual basis for many years. In 2019 our volunteers assisted with 473 tax returns for residents in Stony Plain or Parkland County during March and April. Our volunteers logged 235.5 volunteer hours during our last tax season.

This year the income tax program will offer drop in clinics based on a first come first serve basis. Clinics will be on Mondays & Wednesdays in March and April (except April 13) from 9:30 am – 3:30 pm (closed from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm) at Stony Plain FCSS, 107, 4613-52 Avenue. A new addition to the clinics will be self-serve tax preparation stations with volunteer attendants available to assist residents in filing their own taxes. This is presented in partnership with the Tri Community Adult Learning Association, with the goal of increasing adult learning in our region.

“If we can build individual’s skills to complete their own taxes they will feel empowered,” says Brenda Adams, Executive Director for Tri-CALA.

When asked the goal of the community volunteer income tax program, Lisa Gilchrist, Director for Stony Plain Family and Community Support Services reports:  “By assisting people to complete their taxes on time, we support the continuity of their social assistance payments, thereby decreasing the risk of added financial difficulty. As well, those who have not accessed needed financial and social supports will be identified.”

The Community Volunteer Income Tax Program is one of many programs and services that FCSS offers to help individuals and families.