The Volunteer Program

The purpose of the Volunteer Program is to provide assistance to people who are unable to complete their tax returns by themselves and who do not have the means to pay a tax professional to do so.

The program is jointly administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and Revenu Québec. However, it is the collaboration of hundreds of community organizations and thousands of volunteers that makes the program possible.

Each year, the program's volunteers provide tens of thousands of people with assistance in completing their tax returns. Thanks to this assistance, these people can claim the benefits and credits to which they are entitled.

Community organizations and volunteers hold free income tax return preparation sessions to help eligible individuals with their federal and Québec returns.

Need help completing your returns?

Are you eligible?

To take advantage of the services offered by the Volunteer Program:

  • Your income must not exceed the income limits listed below.
  • You must meet the requirements respecting types of income and returns.
  • You must have a simple tax situation.
Income limits
Person living alone $25,000

Couple

Each additional dependant

$30,000

$2,000

One adult with one child

Each additional dependant

$30,000

$2,000

Types of income and returns

  • Your interest income may not exceed $1,000.
  • The income tax returns of the following people cannot be completed by program volunteers: 
    • Deceased people
    • Bankrupts
    • People who have capital gains or losses
    • People who have business or rental income
    • People who have employment expenses

To find out if you are eligible for the program, contact an organization holding income tax return preparation sessions in your area.

Income tax return preparing sessions

Income tax return preparing sessions are held from February to April in many places across Québec. To find out where, refer to the list of Tax Preparation Clinics (compiled by the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP)) or contact Revenu Québec's client services.

Note that the list of sessions is updated regularly.

Required documents

Remember to bring your RL slips and information slips, your receipts and any other relevant document. Volunteers will need these documents to complete your federal and Québec income tax returns.

Become a participating community organization

What is expected of a participating community organization?

As a participating community organization, you:

  • serve members of your community;
  • help taxpayers fulfill their fiscal obligations and receive all the tax deductions and credits to which they are entitled; and
  • give volunteers the opportunity to perfect their knowledge of the tax system.

The CRA and Revenu Québec accompany community organizations by providing them with:

  • the necessary guidance throughout tax season;
  • training sessions for volunteers; and
  • tax calculation software.

If you participate in the Volunteer Program as a community organization, you will be responsible mainly for:

  • planning and holding free income tax return preparation sessions;
  • coordinating volunteer involvement and ensuring that volunteers complete the returns of eligible individuals;
  • processing taxpayer information in a confidential and secure way; and
  • ensuring that volunteers register for the program and either obtain confirmation of eligibility to EFILE or pass a police background check, in keeping with the program's security requirements.
Important

Volunteers who transmit returns electronically must obtain EFILE certification from the CRA. Each organization with which volunteers are affiliated must register for NetFile Québec using form TP-223.PB, Demande d'inscription de bénévoles à ImpôtNet Québec dans le cadre du Programme des bénévoles (available in French only). In addition, volunteers who prepare paper returns or who have access to personal taxpayer information may be required to submit to a police background check.

How to become a participating community organization

To become a participating community organization, you must complete online form Organization registration for Québec created by the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP).

Request for information

If you need more information before you register as a participating community organization, contact a Volunteer Program coordinator (created by the CVITP).

Taxpayer information security

You must ensure the security and confidentiality of taxpayer information at all times.

Become a volunteer

What is expected of a program volunteer?

As a program volunteer, you prepare federal and Québec income tax returns for eligible individuals who have a modest income and a simple tax situation.

You can always count on CRA and Revenu Québec personnel to assist you if you need additional information to prepare returns.

How to become a volunteer

To become a volunteer, you must volunteer through a community organization, have a general understanding of the tax system and either:

  1. Complete the online registration form

    You can complete the online Volunteer registration form (created by the CVITP) from mid-October to February 28. Be sure to mention which community organization you are volunteering through. If you are not currently volunteering though any particular organization, please mention it on the form as well. A program coordinator will contact you to find an organization in your area.

  2. Register for EFILE or submit to a police background check

    If you transmit income tax returns electronically, you must register for EFILE for electronic filers with the CRA.

    EFILE is an automated service that allows approved tax preparation service providers to transmit income tax return information to the CRA directly from tax preparation software. Processing of applications for EFILE registration may take up to 30 days. If your application is approved, you can participate in the program and file federal income tax returns.

    Important

    Note that, if you transmit returns electronically, the organization through which you are volunteering must register you for NetFile Québec so that you can transmit the Québec return.

    If you prepare paper returns or perform any other tasks giving you access to personal taxpayer information, you may be required to submit to a police background check.

Security of taxpayer information

You must ensure the security and confidentiality of taxpayer information at all times.

For more information about the Volunteer Program, see guide COM-301-V, The Volunteer Program.

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