Become a Participating Community Organization

Promote equality in your community by becoming a participating community organization for the Income Tax Assistance – Volunteer Program to help taxpayers claim the benefits and tax credits they are entitled to.

What is expected of a participating community organization?

As a participating community organization, you:

  • help taxpayers meet their tax obligations and receive the benefits and credits they are entitled to without interruption;
  • 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).

What are the benefits for an organization that partipates in the income tax assistance program?

As a participating community organization:

  • You may be eligible for two grants, one from the CRA and one from Revenu Québec.
  • You will get tax preparation software and training material that you can provide to volunteers on the basics of completing personal income tax returns.
  • Your volunteers will have access to CRA and Revenu Québec phone lines reserved for them.
  • You will benefit from support and coaching provided by CRA and Revenu Québec coordinators throughout the year.
  • You will get an electronic toolkit to help you recruit volunteers and to announce the dates and locations of your income tax return preparation sessions.
  • You may benefit from the CRA's computer donation program.
  • You will receive certificates of appreciation from the CRA and Revenu Québec.

How to register as a community organization for the income tax assistance program

To register as a community organization for the program, complete the form on the Register as A Community Organization page.

Income tax return preparation sessions

Important

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, some community organizations may hold virtual income tax return preparation sessions. Their volunteers can complete tax returns for free:

  • by video;
  • by phone;
  • by drop-off and pick-up adapted to the health measures currently in place.
End of note

Under the Income Tax Assistance – Volunteer Program, you are responsible for organizing the income tax return preparation sessions where eligible taxpayers can have their returns completed by volunteers free of charge. The sessions can be offered on a drop-in basis, by appointment or by drop off and pick up. They usually take place during the day in March and April, but some organizations 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 (see Are You Eligible for the Income Tax Assistance Program?).

Grants for community organizations participating in the income tax assistance program

Community Volunteer Income Tax Program Grant (CRA)

To support community organizations that hold income tax return preparation sessions, the CRA offers the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) Grant. The grant provides financial support to organizations by covering some of the eligible expenses they incur to organize the sessions. For more information, go to the CRA's CVITP Grant page.

Revenu Québec grant

As a participating community organization, you may be eligible for a grant from Revenu Québec in the amount of $5 for each Québec income tax return (form TP-1-V) your organization files under the income tax assistance program.

Eligibility requirements for the Revenu Québec grant

To be eligible as a community organization, you 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 is awarded only once for each Québec income tax return prepared during the filing period. Therefore, you must submit only one grant application to Revenu Québec for this period.

Additional information for participating community organizations

The CRA's Auto-fill my return

Auto-fill my return is an optional and secure CRA service that allows eligible program volunteers to automatically fill in parts of a taxpayer's federal income tax return using software provided under the program. This service gives volunteers access to the taxpayer's CRA files in order to complete their return.

Revenu Québec's Tax Data Download service – New

The Tax Data Download (TDD) service is a secure Revenu Québec service that lets program volunteers who have been authorized by the CRA and Revenu Québec automatically complete parts of a taxpayer's Québec income tax return using software provided under the program. The TDD service allows volunteers to access taxpayer information held by Revenu Québec when filing the taxpayer's Québec income tax return.

To use the CRA's Auto-fill my return service or Revenu Québec's TDD service, volunteers must follow the instructions on the Become a Volunteer page.

Accountants and tax professionals

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. 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.

Need more information?

For more information, contact a program coordinator using the CRA's online request form.

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