What are ‘CVITP Virtual Tax Clinics’

In light of the circumstances caused by COVID19, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is introducing temporary measures to help individuals, who qualify for assistance under the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP), file a T1 Individual Tax and Benefits Return while also respecting physical distancing guidelines.

A virtual clinic is any clinic that offers eligible individuals the option to have their taxes completed by a CVITP volunteer without any physical contact. Virtual clinics are hosted by approved CVITP organizations with affiliated and approved volunteers who are willing to offer their services virtually. Your organization can decide to use all, some or none of these options.

How Do I Find Out If I’m Eligible?

You may be eligible for help at a free tax clinic if you have a modest income and a simple tax situation.

In general, a modest income means your total family income is less than the amount shown in the chart below, based on the size of your family. Check with your local community organization, as they may set different amounts.

Income level
Family size Total family income is under…
1 person $35,000
2 persons $45,000
3 persons $47,500
4 persons $50,000
5 persons $52,500
More than 5 persons $52,500 plus $2,500 for each additional person

In general, your tax situation is simple if you have no income or if your income comes from any of these sources:

  • employment
  • pension
  • benefits such as the Canada Pension Plan, disability insurance, employment insurance, and social assistance
  • registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs)
  • support payments
  • scholarships, fellowships, bursaries or grants
  • interest (under $1,000)

Your tax situation is not simple if you:

  • are self-employed or have employment expenses
  • have business or rental income and expenses
  • have capital gains or losses
  • filed for bankruptcy in the tax year (or the year before, if that return has not yet been filed)
  • are completing a tax return for a deceased person

The CRA hosts a website with all the information you need to be able to make an informed decision. You can learn more at: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/community-volunteer-income-tax-program/need-a-hand-complete-your-tax-return.html 

What Types of Virtual Clinics are There?

Clinic can be offered through video conferencing, telephone or a modified drop-off clinic. The type of clinic you host will be determined by your preference and coordinators availability throughout the London area.

How Will Volunteers Know Who I am, Without Me Being There?

There have been changes to the authentication process and the ways you can confirm an individual’s identity. There are four ways that an individual can be authenticated. An organization or the volunteer knows the individual and can confirm their identity. The volunteer can confirm the individual with information provided by AFR, after consent has been obtained to use this service. The volunteer can confirm identification visually on video conferencing. As a last option, volunteers can prepare an email request to have an individual’s identity confirmed over the phone by a CRA employee.


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