Delivering virtual tax clinics: How to prepare and steps to consider 

This tax season, community tax clinics across Canada will be preparing to support clients virtually rather than in person amidst physical distancing measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Adapting to a virtual tax clinic model means preparing for different ways of volunteer preparation, client outreach, and delivering one-on-one tax-filing help.

In this one-hour webinar, speakers from the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will share key considerations for Canadian practitioners operating tax clinics in 2021, as well as how to access CVITP program training and support.

This webinar is designed to support practitioners delivering community tax clinics in Canada.

Click 'Get it' below to access the video link, and scroll down to access handouts, slides, and video timestamps for this webinar.

Read the presentation slides for this webinar.

Time-stamps for the video recording:
3:46 – Agenda and introductions
6:21 – Audience polls
11:08 – CVITP program and recent changes
16:58 – CVITP volunteer training
26:58 – What’s new for 2021 and Virtual clinics
36:37 – Q&A

Reaching Out: Improving the Canada Revenue Agency’s Community Volunteer Income Tax Program

The CVITP provides people, who may otherwise have dif culty accessing income tax and bene t return (return) ling services, with an opportunity to meet their ling obligations. Often, ling a return is required to gain access to, or continue to receive, the government credits and bene ts designed to support them.

This report illustrates that the CRA needs to take a broad, country-wide perspective of the CVITP, while also taking into consideration regional and other differences. Services offered and training provided to volunteers need to re ect the realities of the diverse regional, geographic, socio-economic, workforce, and vulnerable, sectors throughout Canada. Different areas of the country will have different primary needs from the CVITP. The CRA needs to address those needs, both in its actions through the CVITP, as well as in the training provided to CVITP volunteers and the support given to partner organizations.



Reaching Out: Improving the Canada Revenue Agency’s Community Volunteer Income Tax Program

The position of Taxpayers’ Ombudsman (the Ombudsman) was created to support the government priorities of stronger democratic institutions, increased transparency within institutions, and fair treatment. As an independent and impartial officer, the Ombudsman handles complaints about the service of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

The Office of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsman hears first-hand the concerns of individuals, tax practitioners, and community support organizations. The Ombudsman visited with Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) partner organizations, volunteers, and the Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) CVITP coordinators to learn more about the program and to understand the success stories and challenges they all experience. This report gives voice to what they have heard and provides recommendations on how to address the issues raised.



Virtual tax filing: Piloting a new way to file taxes for homebound seniors

WoodGreen Community Services, a large multi-service frontline social service agency in Toronto, provides free tax preparation services year-round to people living on low incomes. WoodGreen was interested in designing a novel solution to address the tax filing needs of homebound seniors who are unable to access WoodGreen’s free in-person tax-preparation services due to physical or mental health challenges. Specifically, WoodGreen wanted to know… How might we provide high-quality professional tax preparation services to all clients whether or not they are onsite? Prosper Canada and a leading commercial tax preparation software company partnered with WoodGreen Community Services in order to answer this design question.



Supported Self-File: Piloting a new way to empower individuals to file taxes independently

Many frontline community organizations provide free tax preparation services to people living on low incomes across Canada using a variety of methods. However, when COVID-19 struck, a large majority of agencies offering free tax-filing supports were forced to close their doors and halt in-person services. Non-profit organizations, EBO (Ottawa) and WoodGreen Community Services (Toronto) with a long-standing history of delivering tax-filing supports, needed to explore alternative models that catered to the different needs of their clientele.

Prosper Canada and Intuit, a leading commercial tax preparation software company, partnered with WoodGreen and EBO, in order to answer this design question.

These journey maps describe the process of this service flow, from intake to client sessions and post-session activities.