Need help with your taxes? Huntsville Public Library (HPL) is still offering their annual free income tax clinic this year, in partnership with the District of Muskoka, but this year participants will receive help via phone instead of in-person.
“It would be disheartening to see people who are already struggling financially to have to pay high fees to have their taxes done, when they could benefit from this program. The clinic is especially important during the pandemic since it has already made things so much harder on many people,” said Cortney LeGros, community engagement coordinator at Huntsville Public Library.
The program has been running for eight years and more than 500 income tax files are submitted through HPL each year.
This year’s clinic is available between March 1 and April 30 to assist moderate to low income households with submitting their taxes.
When you call to register, you will be given a date and time slot and a volunteer will help you complete your submission.
“We have some really great volunteers that have stuck with us from the beginning,” said LeGros.
All volunteers are trained by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and have had a criminal record check; many are retired accountants that want to help the community.
None of the information you provide to your assigned volunteer is saved or written down—it will be input directly into secure CRA software. Your Notice of Assessment will be mailed to your home.
“We want to get the word out that seniors should not be afraid of technology because it is just over the phone. It’s not over Zoom or anything like that,” said LeGros.
“Sometimes if you’re doing your taxes yourself or using a free online program you may miss really important benefits that you’re entitled to that you didn’t know about,” said LeGros. “Some of these tax returns are life-changing amounts of money for people.”
Because of the pandemic, they have increased capacity for the program—there are lots of spots available.
To register for the Income Tax Clinic, you can call the library at 705-789-5232 or click here.
While all in-person services are on hold at the library, LeGros wants the community to know that staff are still available to support the public.
“People think that we aren’t offering services because of pandemic restrictions but we are still offering tons,” she said. The library is running kids’ activities like story club and crafts online, as well as programs for adults such as book club. Books can be checked out by phone and online. Visit huntsvillelibrary.ca for more information.
Don’t miss out on Doppler!
Sign up here to receive our email digest with links to our most recent stories.
Local news in your inbox three times per week!