2021-2022 Tax Clinic Toolkits: Residents and Organizations

Community of Practice - Volunteer Income Tax Clinic (CVITP)

Resident toolkit

Organization toolkit

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers to questions that relate to tax filing and CVITP clinics. The answers to these questions may be updated if information changes.

Topic Question Answer
COIN Does the COIN stay the same for each year? Yes, the COIN stays the same each year. You can get it from your CVITP officer if you cannot locate it.
Volunteer Helpline What is the phone number and hours of operation for the dedicated helpline? Resources for volunteers, including the contact number for the dedicated helpline can be found at: Resources – Canada.ca

You can also find a number of Helpful Contacts on this webpage.

The number for the dedicated helpline is: 1-866-398-3488

Hours of operation: Mon-Fri 9:00-8:00pm (PST), Saturday 9:00-5:00pm (PST).

*** Please note: This helpline is for CVITP volunteers only. Do not share this number with individuals outside of the CVITP.

Clinic locations and type of clinics Where can I find clinics and how I would know if the organization offers a virtual clinic or in-person? For information on where to find clinics you can visit:

Free tax clinics – Canada.ca

Click on “Find a tax clinic in your area” and select the type of clinic that you are looking for (i.e. walk-in; drop-off; virtual etc.) and your location for a list of clinics in your area that meet your specifications.

Police Checks Is a police check required if we are not using autofill? The police record check is only required for anyone with access to taxpayer information in a support role, paper tax preparers and Autofill Returns. It is not required for plain EFILE. Register to volunteer – Canada.ca
Is a police check required if we do both paper and e-filing? Any kind of paper file will require a police record check. Register to volunteer – Canada.ca
Do volunteers who paper file, need to provide Police clearance every year? The police record check is valid for 3 years. We ask the primary contact of organizations to provide the date of the police record check to the CRA. The organization can keep a copy.
What type of Police check is required? Any level of police record check is suitable. Some organizations specifically ask for a vulnerable sector check but that is in rare occurrences
Can an RCMP record check be used as the police check? Yes.
Autofill vs. E-File Why use Autofill instead of just EFILE? The CRA encourages the use of Auto-fill my Return as it reduces the margin for error and helps to ensure accuracy. It also improves service to taxpayers who may not have copies of their slips. Before you register – important information – Canada.ca
Benefits and credits Is the climate incentive credit based on the household total income? The climate action incentive is not based on household income. It is based on the number of household members.
Can you claim 2020 work from home on the 2021 return? You can claim the work from home credit in the year you work from home. If you Worked form home in 2021 you can claim that on 2021. You cannot carry forward this credit from previous years.
Where can I find information about the CARE credit? Information about CARE can be found at: Ontario Child Care Tax Credit | ontario.ca
Where can I find information about the Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit? Information about the Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit can be found at:  Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit | ontario.ca
Newcomers Do newcomers need to file taxes if they don’t have any income? It is important to educate newcomers and all residents that filing taxes is not only about reporting income but applying for benefits as well.
If a newcomer landed on the last day of 2021, do they still need to file a tax return? If someone landed on Dec 31 2021, they would need to file a tax return for 2021. For tax purposes is beneficial for them to file their taxes so they can collect some of the credits/benefits they may be entitled to.

You can find more information here: Newcomers – Canada.ca

Does the CRA do presentations for newcomers to educate them on their rights and responsibilities as new Canadian residents? The CRA partners with community organizations to provide free presentations on various tax topics including Newcomers, international students, international students, seniors. It is called the Outreach program.

Please contact the CRA at 416-420-0906 or OUTREACH.ON.TORONTOWEST@cra-arc.gc.ca for more information on the Outreach Program or to arrange a presentation.

Payments for tax owing What happens if a client owes money? How do they pay? Clients can visit: Make a payment for individuals – Payments to the CRA – Canada.ca to select an option to make a payment to the CRA for taxes owing.
Technical support How do I print the Tax summary and T1 General? You can print the Tax Summary after preparing it in EFILE but the cost of printing will be the responsibility of the organization. For bulk orders of forms organizations can reach out to their CVITP officer.
Benefits wayfinder What is the Benefits wayfinder? The Benefits wayfinder is an online tool developed by Prosper Canada that simplifies the search for government benefits for people seeking ways to boost their incomes and/or reduce their expenses.

The link for the website is: https://benefitswayfinder.org/

Can you please share the link to the free “Foundations of Access to Benefits” course? The link to register for the free “Foundations of Access to Benefits” course can be found here:

Prosper Canada Online Training

Data collection tool How long will it take to complete the data collection tool? The time taken to complete the data collection tool will depend on the number of returns your organization files.

Using the clearly outlined steps in the Step-by-step Guide, it should only take 25 seconds per entry.

How do the people responsible for data entry get access to the tax returns to enter the data in the tool? Ideally, data entry should be done by a volunteer or staff that is approved to file and submit returns, as they will be accessing confidential taxpayer information directly.

Where the above is not possible, you may ask the volunteers to record just the required data for the tool on a separate spreadsheet and provide that to those responsible for data entry. The tool does not collect confidential information, hence in this scenario, these data entry volunteers do not require CVITP approval as they will not be viewing taxpayers’ confidential information directly.

***Please note: The second option will create an additional step to the data entry process, but it is up to your organization to determine which practice is most feasible for you.

Can we engage volunteers under the age of 18 for data entry? Under the age of 18, volunteers cannot use EFILE but they may volunteer as a support volunteer.