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30K New Brunswickers accessed free tax clinics last year — and they're back once again

A file photo shows a T1 general tax form. Clinics across Canada, including New Brunswick, can help those with a modest income file their annual income taxes. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press - image credit)
A file photo shows a T1 general tax form. Clinics across Canada, including New Brunswick, can help those with a modest income file their annual income taxes. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Free tax clinics across the province are running again this year — and according to the Canadian Revenue Agency, the need is still there.

Natasha Brewer, a spokesperson with the Canada Revenue Agency specializing in the community volunteer income tax program, said it served 30,000 New Brunswickers in 2023.

She said approximately 740 volunteers and more than 200 organizations made that possible.

"It's so great to see individuals in local communities really helping people in their own community," said Brewer.

You may be entitled to benefits you weren't aware of.- Natasha Brewer, CRA spokesperson

The free tax clinics are part of the community volunteer income tax program, which has been running since 1971. Through the program, community organizations can host clinics where volunteers complete tax returns for people with a modest income and a simple tax situation.

According to the CRA website, a modest income is less than or equal to the following:

  • $35,000 for one person.

  • $45,000 for two people.

  • $47,500 for three people.

  • $50,000 for four people.

  • $52,000 for five people.

  • $52,500, plus $2,500 for each additional person.

A note on the page says community organizations can adjust the total family income amounts based on the local economic situation, the population they serve and the organization's resources.

The qualification of a simple tax situation refers to individuals who have no income or who get their income from sources such as employment, pension, benefits, a registered retirement savings plans or scholarships.

Brewer said the clinics can help to lessen the burden of tax season for people and make the process easier for them.

She said even if people have no income to report, or if their income is tax exempt, it is still important to file annual tax returns.

"If you're a first-time filer or if your situation has changed, you may be entitled to benefits you weren't aware of such as the Canada Child Benefit, or the GST/HST credit," she said.