e4c Make Tax Time Pay tax filing boosts incomes

12 June 2017

For 12 years, e4c Make Tax Time Pay (MTTP) has been working with volunteers to provide free tax preparation and benefits navigation support to low-income individuals and families in the Edmonton area. One of the most effective ways to boost the income of low-income individuals and families is through tax filing and connecting them to benefits. This year MTTP:

  • Served 4212 individuals
  • Filed 4567 tax returns
  • Helped people access an anticipated $1,785,466 in refunds
  • Helped people access $1,512,627 in GST rebates, and $7,022,308 in Canada Child Benefits
  • Assisted with 1061 benefits applications.
All of these results provide individuals with a boost in income, which addresses one of the core issues of poverty.

e4c Make Tax Time Pay’s tax season campaign is a team effort. First, there is the team of partners who support MTTP: e4c, 2-1-1 The Support Network, The United Way, Prosper Canada, and the City of Edmonton. The partners work together throughout the year to plan and prepare for tax season. But the most vital teams are the over 250 volunteers who donated their time at 25 locations. Each location had site coordinators who organized the activities and worked with their volunteers. These volunteers booked appointments, welcomed people, provided benefits information, and filed taxes. Each one of the sites has a unique feel based on the needs of the people being served as well as the personalities and strengths of the volunteers. This team environment is part of what makes MTTP a special experience and keeps volunteers coming back year after year. This annual ritual is an ingrained part of their community participation and an opportunity to make a tangible, material difference in people’s lives.

2017 Statistical Highlights
Tax sites operated 25
Number of volunteers 275
Persons served 4212
Average gross income $23,275
Tax returns prepared 4567
Anticipated tax refunds $ 1,785,466
Anticipated GST rebates $ 1,512,627
Anticipated CCB payments $ 7,022,308

One of e4c's volunteers shared this story at their annual wrap up celebration.

“This year I worked with a family who had come from Syria as refugees. Surprisingly to me, they were very excited about filing their income tax returns for the very first time. They were surprised by how easy it was and were grateful for the opportunity to fulfil their legal obligation. Over the course of the appointment the father and I were able to connect around shared experiences as he told me about some of the perils they had faced in Syria and on their journey to Canada. I was honoured that he felt safe enough to share with me and the experience made me reflect on my own journey to Canada with my family many years ago. Thank you MTTP for the opportunity to support others as I was once supported.”

Since many of the people they serve continue to face barriers to filing their taxes, there are many people who have still not completed their tax returns. To help with this MTTP will be running four tax clinics year round for those that still need support. For locations, dates, and times please call 2-1-1 for the most up to date information. 

e4c is one of five national Financial Empowerment Champions collectively working to improve the financial well-being of 175,000 individuals living on low incomes. e4C is a non-profit organization that has been working for over 45 years to alleviate, limit, and eventually eliminate poverty in Edmonton.