CPA Alberta would first and foremost like to thank all of our tax clinic volunteers and clinic organizers for the time and effort they have already put into the 2020 Tax Clinic Program.
Protecting the health and safety of the individuals we serve, as well as volunteers and coordinators is our main concern. As a precautionary measure, CPA Alberta has made the decision to postpone in-person clinics effective March 13.
We have begun implementing a remote delivery strategy through Zoom and a secure portal. We are presently working with existing community partners to complete returns for clinics which were previously postponed as a result of COVID-19. If resources allow us to expand our program to more organizations, we will consider new applications on a case-by-case basis. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if your organization would like to be considered.
Alternate ways to file your tax return
There are a variety of ways for you to file your tax returns.
Over the Phone:
File my Return
Those who are eligible would have received an invitation letter by mail in mid-February to use the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) automated phone service named “File my Return.” This service allows individuals to complete and file their tax returns by phone, free of charge. The personalized invitation is sent by the CRA to eligible Canadians with low or fixed incomes whose situations do not change from year-to year.
Using an Online Program:
The CRA’s NETFILE service lets you do your personal taxes online and send your income tax and benefit return directly to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). CRA’s ReFILE allows you to make changes to your return using certified tax software.
Auto-fill my return automatically fills in parts of your tax return with information the CRA has on file. Express NOA gives you your notice of assessment right after the CRA receives and processes your return.
You will find a list of certified desktop, online, and mobile software products at canada.ca/netfile-software. Some of these products are free of charge.
You can still file your income tax return on paper. If you filed on paper last year and your address information with the CRA was up-to-date, you should have received your paper tax package in the mail by February 17, 2020. You can view, download and order forms at canada.ca/taxes-general-package or call the CRA at 1-855-330-3305 to order a copy.
If you need to order a package, please keep in mind that it may take 10 days for delivery.
Outreach Activities for Individuals
The CRA is adapting its Outreach Program to support individuals during COVID-19. Through this service, the CRA can help individuals to better understand their tax obligations and to help them get the benefits and credits they are entitled. Traditionally available in-person, this service is now available over the phone, where possible by completing an online request for an information session.
For more information on ways to complete tax returns, visit: www.canada.ca/en/services/taxes/income-tax/personal-income-tax/doing-your-taxes.html.
Each year, from March to the beginning of April, tax clinics are held in co-operation with seniors' homes, community centres, and other not-for-profit agencies. The Tax Clinic Program mission is to help low-income Albertans complete their tax returns for free.
About the CPA Alberta Tax Clinic Program
The Tax Clinic program was established in 1973. At that time, tax clinics were introduced as a public service with three pilot tax clinics being held. From mid-March to mid-April, volunteers visit senior citizen homes and social agencies in major centers across Alberta. Since 1973, the program has expanded to include over 100 organizations and more than 500 volunteers annually, however, the focus remains the same—a community service program designed to assist the elderly, disabled, unemployed, and new Canadian citizens that are financially disadvantaged complete their annual personal tax returns.
In 2018 CPA Alberta connected over 528 volunteers with 135 organizations across the province to support 300 clinics and complete 4,212 tax returns.
CPA Alberta would like to thank Intuit for providing their tax software ProFile to our volunteers for free.
ProFile, an industry leading professional tax software, comes to you from Intuit, one of Canada's most trusted names in financial software. For over 15 years, ProFile has provided accountants and other tax preparers with the power to get more done. For more information or to try it for FREE, visit www.intuit.ca or call 1.800.452.9970.