New funding enables tax-filing service for people with disabilities to run three more years

New funding enables tax-filing service for people with disabilities to run three more years

New funding from the B.C. Government is enabling a tax-filing program for people with disabilities to run an additional three years.

The provincial government is investing $1.18 million in order to keep the Tax Assistance and Information program (Tax AID) running. The program offers people with disabilities and other barriers free help filing their income tax and accessing tax credits and benefits.

The program, which has been operated by Disability Alliance B.C. (DABC), will continue to run until at least 2024.

“Making B.C. more accessible for everyone includes improving access to things like financial resources,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “I am very happy the Tax AID program can continue to support people through what is often a complicated process, ensuring that they receive the benefits or financial supports they are entitled to.”

The Tax AID program, which was deployed back in 2015, has been able to operate throughout the COVID-19 pandemic without disruption, notes the provincial government. The services provided through Tax AID can help people access tax credits, income tax refunds and additional benefits such as Registered Disability Savings Plan grants and bonds. The government anticipates that it will be particularly useful for those on income or disability assistance who are faced with more complicated taxes this year due to provincial and federal emergency measures supporting them during the pandemic.

“Filing taxes shouldn’t be a barrier to additional financial assistance. By supporting DABC’s Tax AID program, we are making sure those British Columbians who require a little extra help filing their taxes receive it, and they receive it free of charge,” said Dan Coulter, Parliamentary Secretary for Accessibility.

The government says that the Tax AID program has served over 5,200 clients and helped them to access over $9.73 million in income tax benefits since 2018.

“Having gotten our many tax returns up to date is a huge burden off our shoulders, and we could not have done this without [the Tax AID Program]. Your patience with us and your kind-hearted willingness to go way above and beyond is appreciated more than you can imagine.” said Susan and Richard, a couple helped by the tax-filing service.

The DABC adds that people who have been helped through the program have benefitted from “greater financial security, stability and an increased sense of well-being.”

More information regarding the Tax AID program can be found here.


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