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Empowering tax filers - One step at a time
16 March 2022
Social distancing has “pushed” more people to use online banking, order multitudes of items from their computer and even scan, pay and bag their own groceries. Self-service is a widely accepted way of providing more services with fewer resources. Though there are some drawbacks, it has also proven that with the right tools, and just a little help, people can perform many tasks for themselves.
Vulnerable Canadians often rely on one-on-one financial help services to tax file, access benefits, and to build their financial stability. Without these services, many may not be able to meet their basic needs if they’re unable to access income or may lose existing benefits by failing to tax file. Unfortunately, many services offered by community agencies have been, and continue to be, severely limited due to physical distancing measures. Responding to this need, Prosper Canada partnered with
WoodGreen Community Services
(Toronto) in May of 2020 to pilot a virtual tax-filing model that allows low-and moderate-income individuals to learn to prepare their own taxes through their mobile devices and computers.
According to Marc D’Orgeville, Budget Counsellor at EBO, “the value of this project is that it empowers people to do their taxes on their own. Once they try it, they realize this is not too complicated and they are willing to try again the following year. The fact that 100 per cent of clients are ready to try again next year is proof that the current process works.”
The stats speak loudly, Ninety-nine per cent of tax filers who tried the self-file model at WoodGreen were, “very satisfied” with the service. In their own words, “the service is more efficient time wise and cuts down commute and wait time. I saved two hours!”
This will eventually make a big impact as taxpayers who learn to file on their own may not need to go to an in-person tax clinic in subsequent years, which means more availability for the people who will still need services from Canada Volunteer Income Tax Clinics (CVITP’s).
In 2022, Intuit and Prosper Canada are working with more community organizations to across Canada continue empowering tax filers nationwide.
How it works:
A step-by-step Virtual Self-File Model in
showcases the journey that individuals have followed through this process. The model can be easily adapted to the needs of the organizations and of the clients they serve.
Who is it for:
Organizations serving individuals with a simple tax return, Prosper Canada will provide you with the resources—tax software, how-to-videos and guides—that will make it easy for you to help clients learn how to prepare their tax return.
To learn more about this initiative, watch the
and joined by
(Woodgreen Community Services, Toronto) and
, (EBO, Ottawa).
Participating organizations across Canada in 2022 tax season:
Ajax Welcome Centre and Settlement Services
Dilico (Anishinabeck Family Care), Youth Prevention Services
Disability Alliance BC
Durham Region, Unemployed Help Centre
EBO, Education Centre
Salvation Army Centre of Hope
Thunder Bay Counselling
North York Community House (NYCH)
WoodGreen Community Services
If you are interested in adopting the Virtual Self Filing tax-filing model in your own agency using the TurboTax for Tax Clinics software, please contact
Program Delivery and Integration Manager.