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Volunteer Bureau getting set for tax time


Whether it’s navigating the seemingly ever-changing rules and regulations or getting lost in piles of receipts, tax time can be a nightmare for some.

But the Fort Frances Volunteer Bureau once again is offering

a helping hand, with volunteers donating their time to aid low-income families, the disabled, and elderly prepare their income tax forms before the April 30 deadline.

Vanessa Hebert, executive director of the volunteer bureau, said this morning about 30 volunteers are in place this year, including seven first-timers who attended an all-day training workshop here yesterday led by Lorna Ingal of Canada Customs and Revenue.

She added that starting next month, those who want help with their taxes, but can’t afford to get them done at a tax firm, can just bring the applicable forms and information to the volunteer bureau office (in the old CN station).

This year, volunteers will be processing tax returns from March 3-April 30. Those wanting help can drop by the bureau Monday through Friday between 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

“I encourage anybody who is on a fixed income to let us help them. There’s a lot of people who use this service, so you won’t be the only one,” noted Hebert.

Volunteers also can come pick up information from someone’s home--a huge benefit, noted Hebert, for elderly people and the disabled who may not be able to get to the volunteer bureau.

The program is based on net income of $28,000 or less, but the service will be provided to those who exceed that amount in certain situations, she added.

For instance, new Canadians may make more than that, but still not know how filing income tax works.

Hebert said the volunteer bureau also is interested in helping people help themselves so they don’t have to come back next year—or could even share their new skills with others in need of help.

“Anyone who wants to learn how to do their income tax, we’re more than happy to show them,” she remarked. “But they’ll have to make an appointment.”

The volunteer bureau has been organizing this assistance for the past seven years. Herbert said the program handled about 450 tax returns last year.

If you have any questions, or want to make an appointment to learn how to do your own taxes, call Hebert or assistant co-ordinator Karen Haney at 274-9555.

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