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Free income tax filing program for low-income people in Saskatoon sets record

Ask an Expert: What to do if you are getting a tax refund

It was a record-breaking year for a free income tax preparation clinic in Saskatoon.

The Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre has offered the community volunteer income tax program (CVITP) for over three decades.

READ MORE: Cameco awarded $10M for legal fees incurred in tax dispute with CRA

So far this year, 5,420 returns done by the clinic’s volunteers have had an impact on 8,077 tax filers and dependents.

According to organizers, a record $24,383,137 has been returned to the pockets of low-income community members through tax refunds and various credits and benefits.

That amount surpasses last year’s record by nearly 24 per cent.

Saskatoon Food Bank director of community development Jolene Zidkovich said the clinic is a perfect example of the kind of skill-building program that can have a longer impact in the community.

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WATCH: Saskatoon organization helping seniors file income taxes stress-free (March 2019)

Saskatoon organization helping seniors file income taxes stress-free
Saskatoon organization helping seniors file income taxes stress-free

“The shorter-term benefit of such a program is, of course, putting money directly back into people’s pockets so they can buy food, pay rent, buy clothes for their children, or spend on whatever other priorities they might have,” Zidkovich said in a press release.

“At the same time, the program builds tax-filing skills in the community, increasing folks’ financial literacy and confidence around this annual process, so they can also support neighbours and friends to reach the refunds and credits to which they are entitled.”

This year’s tax clinic runs until May 17.