Become a Participating Community Organization
Promote equality in your community by helping taxpayers claim the benefits and tax credits to which they are entitled.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, certain participating community organizations are now hosting virtual income tax return preparation sessions.
Volunteers can complete income tax returns for free:
- by videoconference;
- by telephone; or
- using a drop off and pick up option adapted to the health measures currently in place.
Once you have registered as a participating organization, you can ask a tax assistance program coordinator for more information.
As a participating community organization, you:
- help taxpayers meet their tax obligations and claim the benefits and credits they are entitled to;
- plan and hold free income tax return preparation sessions;
- manage and coordinate volunteer efforts and make sure volunteers complete returns for eligible taxpayers;
- process taxpayer information confidentially and securely and ensure that your volunteers do so as well;
- ensure that all your volunteers register for the Income Tax Assistance – Volunteer Program;
- ensure that volunteers who intend to file federal income tax returns online are registered with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for EFILE;
- register your volunteers for NetFile Québec using form TP-223.PB-V, Application for NetFile Québec Registration for Income Tax Assistance – Volunteer Program Volunteers, so they can file Québec income tax returns online;
- ensure that your volunteers meet the security requirements (see Become a Volunteer).
In addition, as a participating organization, you:
- get tax preparation software and training material that you can provide to volunteers on the basics of completing personal income tax returns;
- have access to dedicated CRA and Revenu Québec phone lines for your volunteers;
- will benefit from support and coaching provided by CRA and Revenu Québec coordinators throughout the year;
- may benefit from the CRA's computer donation program;
- may be eligible for a grant from Revenu Québec.
To register as a participating organization, you must complete the following form:
Once you have registered, a program coordinator will contact you and provide all the information and any assistance you may need.
Your registration is valid for one year only. You have to renew your registration each year you wish to participate in the program.
Under the Income Tax Assistance – Volunteer Program, you are responsible for organizing the income tax return preparation sessions where eligible taxpayers can get free help filing their returns. These sessions usually take place during the day in March and April. Some organizations, however, offer services outside of this period to accommodate people who are filing current returns late or filing returns for past years.
To be eligible for the program, the people must have a modest income and a simple tax situation.
Auto-fill my return is an optional and secure Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) service that allows income tax assistance program volunteers to automatically fill in parts of a taxpayer's federal income tax return with information from the person's CRA file. Note that this service cannot be used to complete Québec income tax returns.
To use this service, volunteers must follow the instructions on the Become a Volunteer page.
As a participating community organization, you may be eligible for a grant from Revenu Québec in the amount of $2 for each Québec income tax return your organization files under the income tax assistance program.
To be eligible, your organization must:
- be registered for the Income Tax Assistance – Volunteer Program;
- have prepared provincial income tax returns on behalf of taxpayers free of charge during the filing period that normally runs from May 1 of the year to April 30 of the next year;
- complete form LM-94.9.PB-V, Grant for Community Organizations Participating in the Income Tax Assistance – Volunteer Program, and send it to Revenu Québec by December 31 following the end of the filing period.
The grant will only be awarded once for each return prepared during the filing period. Do not submit more than one application per tax season.
If you are an accountant or tax professional, you must make a clear distinction between your own clients and the taxpayers taking advantage of the income tax assistance program. Therefore, you or your volunteers cannot use the EFILE and NetFile Québec numbers used for your business when preparing returns under the program. You must obtain separate numbers for use under the program.
For more information, contact a program coordinator using the CRA's online request form.