Virtual Tax Assistance

West Willow Village and Immigrant Services Guelph-Wellington here to help!

For Immediate Release
January 8, 2021

GUELPH, Ontario – A new partnership between Immigrant Services Guelph-Wellington and the West Willow Village will keep volunteers busy in the coming months helping low income families file their 2020 tax return. The West Willow Village is one of several community agencies that volunteer to coordinate the CRA Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) year-round. The CVITP provides help to eligible residents who need to file their tax returns at no cost.

For the last 13 years, Immigrant Services Guelph-Wellington (ISGW) has provided free tax preparation to low income newcomers and families through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program. Volunteer tax preparers and staff were trained through Canada Revenue Agency and filed over 500 returns at the beginning of the pandemic. With the pandemic still influencing how organizations deliver services “this is an opportunity for ISGW to partner with the West Willow Village who also support newcomers, building capacity and streamlining delivery of services”, announced Immigrant Services Executive Director Sandra Cocco. The West Willow Village is home to many newcomer families and “we are delighted to be able to work with the agency and local volunteers to make remote tax filing a reality, especially for people whose first language is not English”. Cocco is impressed with the number of ISGW volunteers who speak another language that have already signed up for CVTIP training and are ready to continue helping newcomers in a virtual capacity.

The West Willow Village offers the CVITP free community support as part of an intentional poverty alleviation effort. By filing a tax return, individuals and families can get benefits and credits that can significantly improve their quality of life, however many experience barriers that prevent them from accessing these income entitlements. The West Village also has an eye to growing financial literacy and neighbourhood skill building. “Interested individuals who want to learn about taxes are provided resources and training, and in turn their language, contacts and efforts help us extend the reach and benefit of the CVITP.” Linda Busuttil, CVITP volunteer Coordinator with the West Willow Village added, “this approach to service delivery means that skills and knowledge stay with individuals, growing leadership and capacity”. Since March 2020, the West Willow Village has filed almost a thousand returns, providing over $3 million in benefits and supports to individuals and families, and adding consumer dollars to the community. Volunteers interested in the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program should contact Linda Busuttil at info@westwillowvillage.ca for more information.

Quick Facts:

Media contact:

Linda Busuttil, General Manager
West Willow Village Neighborhood Group
17A-218 Silvercreek Pkwy North, Box 216 Guelph, Ontario
linda@westwillowvillage.ca
(519) 826 – 9930

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