Become a Volunteer
Volunteers prepare federal and Québec income tax returns for eligible taxpayers with low incomes and simple tax situations. They thus ensure that the taxpayers claim the benefits and tax credits they are entitled to.
Volunteers benefit from:
- training on completing personal income tax returns;
- tax preparation software provided by the income tax assistance program;
- year-round access to a dedicated help line;
- a certificate of appreciation from the CRA and Revenu Québec.
Step 1 – Complete the online registration form
To become a volunteer in the income tax assistance program, you must register using the online form and enter the name of the community organization with which you are affiliated. If you are not currently affiliated with an organization, enter no affiliation and a program coordinator will contact you to help you find a participating organization in your area.
Your registration is valid for one year only. You have to renew your registration each year you wish to participate as a program volunteer.
Although you can register online at any time of the year, we suggest that you register or renew your registration between the third week of October and the beginning of February to be ready for the filing season. If you wait to register later, you may not get the EFILE and NetFile Québec numbers on time and you may miss training sessions.
Step 2 – Meet the security requirements
To be accepted as a volunteer, you must meet the following security requirements:
- If you want to file returns online, you must register and be approved for the CRA's EFILE service.
- If you prepare paper income tax returns or handle or have access to personal tax- and taxpayer-related information, you must either register for EFILE or provide your organization with the results of a valid police background check performed within the last three years.
EFILE is an automated service through which authorized suppliers file income tax returns with the CRA using tax preparation software. Note that the eligibility evaluation process for EFILE may take up to 30 days. If your application is accepted, you will be able to serve as a program volunteer and file federal returns online.
To file Québec income taxes online, your organization must register you for NetFile Québec.
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. This service gives the volunteer access to taxpayers' CRA files for the purpose of completing income tax returns. Note that this service cannot be used to complete Québec income tax returns.
To use this service, you must:
- be registered for the CRA's EFILE;
- be registered for the Income Tax Assistance – Volunteer Program;
- enter your RepID when registering as a program volunteer;
- provide your organization with the results of a valid police background check performed within the last three years.
If you are an accountant or tax professional and you wish to participate in the income tax assistance program, you must make a clear distinction between your own clients and the taxpayers taking advantage of the 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.