Understanding Your Taxes and Benefits
This will be a tax season like no other, which is why we’re pleased to see that the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has set up a webpage to provide information: https://tinyurl.com/wbscj5zw
This site will:
• Help members to understand the benefits and credits to which they are entitled;
• Offer guidance on how to access these benefits and credits; and
• Clarify the taxability of those benefits related to Canada’s COVID-19 response, for those with tax exempt income.
As a reminder, members must follow the same tax rules as any other resident in Canada, unless all or part of their income is eligible for the tax exemption under section 87 of the Indian Act. Members also have access to the same benefits and credits as other Canadians as long as they file a tax return. If individuals don’t file a tax return, they will not get certain benefits and credits.
Besides providing information for those with income exempt under the Indian Act, the webpage also includes answers to specific COVID-19-related tax questions about exempt income. Sections of the page include:
• Getting benefits and credits
• Get help doing your tax return
• If your circumstances change
• If you receive a letter from the CRA
• Documents to confirm your details
• If you received COVID-19-related benefits (CERB, CRB, CRSB, CRCB or CESB)
Personal Income Tax Service – Elders & Members on Income Assistance
The Nation is continuing to work with PwC to assist Elders and members on Income Assistance to complete income tax returns.
Elders and members on Income Assistance, if you had your return prepared in a prior year by PwC you do not need sign up again. PwC will have sent a consent letter, either by email or mail, to have your return prepared again this year.
If you haven’t signed up previously the preferred option is to fill out the intake form at www.squamish.net/taxreturnsupport.
We’re conscious that not all members will have reliable access to Wi-Fi or a computer, sign up sheets are available at the main office. Otherwise reach out to any of the following:
• Please call Lori Cummings at PwC at 604 495 8966 ext. 4465
• For members in and around North Vancouver they can sign up with Monica Jacobs or Lucie Neliba.
• For those in the Squamish Valley they can sign up with Patricia Brown.
PwC sends a courier Wednesdays and Fridays to pick up signed forms so they can be processed.
Get Your Taxes Done at a Free Tax Clinic
If you are not covered by the Nation’s personal income tax service you may be eligible for help at a free tax clinic run by the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program. Tax clinic volunteers complete tax and benefit returns for members who have a modest income and a simple tax situation. To find the full list of eligibility criteria, see About free tax clinics: https://tinyurl.com/y2ajdsb4
There are different types of free tax clinics.
Show up during advertised hours and a volunteer will do your tax return for you on a first-come, first-served basis.
Drop-off and pick-up
Show up during advertised hours and drop off your documents. A volunteer will do your return, and you will pick it up at a later time.
•In-person: Make an appointment and a volunteer will do your tax return at that time following local public health advice and measures.
• Virtual: Make an appointment and a volunteer will do your tax return by videoconference, by email, or by phone.
Find a free tax clinic in the CVITP clinic directory: https://tinyurl.com/2rw8ymuf