Taxpayer Rights in the Digital Age

This paper explores the intersection of digital innovation, digital services, access, and taxpayer rights in the Canadian context, in light of the experiences of vulnerable populations in Canada, from the perspective of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsman. Many aspects of the CRA’s digitalization can further marginalize vulnerable populations but there are also opportunities for digital services to help vulnerable persons in accessing the CRA’s services.

Providing one-on-one financial coaching to newcomers: Insights for frontline service providers

One-on-one financial help is a key financial empowerment (FE) intervention that Prosper Canada is working to pilot, scale and integrate into other social services, in collaboration with FE partners across the country. FE is increasingly gaining traction as an effective poverty reduction measure. FE interventions include financial coaching and supports that assist people to build money management skills, access income benefits, tackle debt, learn about safe financial products and services and find ways to save for emergencies.

This report shares insights on providing one-on-one financial coaching to newcomers captured through two financial coaching pilot projects that Prosper Canada conducted in collaboration with several frontline community partners.



Benefits and credits toolkit

Benefits and credits provide income and financial support for many individuals. This toolkit contains information on common tax credits and benefits, benefits for specific populations, and practitioner resources including case studies and information on identification documentation for accessing benefits.

We are grateful to West Neighbourhood House in Toronto, Ontario for their contribution in the development of the practitioner resources in this toolkit and to Momentum in Calgary, Alberta for their content consultation support.

Worksheet resources in this toolkit are available as fillable PDFs. Please open with Adobe Acrobat Reader for full functionality.

Latest update on May 5, 2021: Benefits and Credits for people living with disabilities - resource links

March 29, 2021:
 Disability Tax Credit Tool - Disability Alliance BC
Disability Inclusion Analysis of Government of Canada's Response to COVID-19 (report and fact sheets) - Live Work Well Research Centre



Common benefits and credits

Resource links:
Benefits and credits for newcomers to Canada – Canada Revenue Agency
Benefit Finder – Government of Canada
Electronic Benefits and credits date reminders – Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
Income Assistance Handbook Government of Northwest Territories
What to do when you get money from the government – Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC)

General emergency government benefits information & navigation
Financial Relief Navigator tool (Prosper Canada)
Changes to taxes and benefits: CRA and COVID-19 – Government of Canada

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
Apply for Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) with CRA – Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
Questions & Answers on CERB – Government of Canada
What is the CERB? – Prosper Canada
FAQ: Canada Emergency Response Benefit – Prosper Canada (updated June 10th)

Who can get CERB? – Steps to Justice
CERB: What you need to know about cashing your cheque – FCAC
COVID-19 Benefits (summary, includes Ontario) – CLEO/Steps to Justice
COVID-19 and Income Assistance – CLEO/Steps to Justice

GST/HST credit and Canada Child Benefit
COVID-19 – Increase to the GST/HST amount – Government of Canada
Canada Child Benefit Payment Increase – Government of Canada
Benefits payments for eligible Canadians to extend to Fall 2020 – Government of Canada

Support for students
Support for students and recent graduates – Government of Canada
Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) – Government of Canada

Benefits and credits for seniors

Resource links:
Canadian Retirement Income Calculator – Government of Canada
Comparing Retirement Savings Options – Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC)
Federal Provincial Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors Forum – Employment and Social Services Canada (ESDC)
Retiring on a low income – Open Policy Ontario
RRSP vs GIS Calculator – Daniela Baron
Sources of income for seniors handout – West Neighbourhood House
What every older Canadian should know about: Income and benefits from government programs – Employment and Social Services Canada (ESDC)
 

Trends in the Citizenship Rate Among New Immigrants to Canada

This Economic Insights article examines trends in the citizenship rate (the percent of immigrants who become Canadian citizens) among recent immigrants who arrived in Canada five to nine years before a given census. The citizenship rate among recent immigrants aged 18 and over peaked in 1996 and declined continuously to 2016. Most of this decline occurred after 2006. The citizenship rate declined most among immigrants with low family income, poor official language skills, and lower levels of education. There was also significant variation in the decline among immigrants from different source regions, with the decline largest among Chinese immigrants.



Financial coaching for newcomers: Promising practices

For many newcomers, living in Canada involves learning about finances and money management in new ways. This can include navigating new financial systems, and learning about tax filing and benefits, as well as day-to-day money management and saving. One-on-one financial coaching programs offer assistance for newcomers seeking to better manage their finances and achieve their goals. 

In this one-hour webinar we’ll hear from two agencies who recently piloted financial coaching programs for newcomers as part of Prosper Canada’s Financial Empowerment for Newcomers project. The speakers are:

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

Access the handouts for this webinar:
Poster presentation: Financial Empowerment for Newcomers project
Infographics: Newcomer settlement stages, money matters, and client personas

Time-stamps for the video recording:
3:11 – Agenda and introductions
5:21 – Audience poll
8:25 – Introduction to Financial Empowerment for Newcomers project (Speaker: Glenna Harris)
11:25 – AXIS financial coaching program (Speaker: Sheri Abbot)
30:05 – North York Community House financial coaching program (Speaker: Noemi Garcia)
45:40 – Q&A

Financial Empowerment for Newcomers: Evaluation insights from pilot project

This fact sheet provides insights from Prosper Canada's Financial Empowerment for Newcomers pilot project conducted with three newcomer-serving organizations, Saskatoon Open Door Society (SODS), AXIS Employment Services (AXIS), and North York Community House (NYCH), who implemented and integrated financial coaching into their existing services for newcomers. The project objectives were to provide newcomer-serving front-line staff with training and resources to enable them to accurately assess newcomers’ financial literacy and connect them to appropriate information and resources and to coach newcomers to achieve successful financial independence.



Financial Empowerment for Newcomers infographic

This infographic displays data gathered from interviewing 53 newcomer participants in three provinces (Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Newfoundland) between August and October 2017. Learn more about the stages of newcomer settlement, key money topics and experiences of newcomers, and three types of newcomer client personas.



My money in Canada

Are you a newcomer to Canada, or someone who works with newcomers? This online tool will help you explore five money modules to better manage your finances in Canada. Learn about the financial system in Canada, income and expenses, setting goals and saving, credit and credit reports, and filing taxes. 



Chronic Low Income Among Immigrants in Canada and its Communities

This study examines the rate of chronic low income among adult immigrants (aged 25 or older) in Canada during the 2000s. Data is taken from the Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB) for the period from 1993 to 2012, with regional adjustments used for the analysis. Chronic low income is categorized as having a family income under a low-income cut-off for five consecutive years or more. 

The study found that for immigrants were in in low-income in any given year, half were in chronic low-income. Including spells of low income which become chronic in later years, this number rises to two-thirds. The highest chronic rates were found in immigrant seniors and immigrants who were unattached or lone parents. Chronic low income is a large component of income disparity and overall low income among immigrants.



My money in Canada

This online tool will help you learn about the financial system in Canada and how to manage your money. Explore five money modules on banking, income and expenses, money goals and savings, credit, and taxes. 

Clients can do the modules in the order they appear, or just the ones they want to use. The tool is intended to be used with clients and settlement workers together, but can also be used by the client on their own if they are comfortable. 



Evaluation of the Guaranteed Income Supplement

The Old Age Security program is the largest statutory program of the Government of Canada, and consists of the Old Age Security pension, the Guaranteed Income Supplement, and the Allowance. The Guaranteed Income Supplement is provided to low-income seniors aged 65 years and over who receive the Old Age Security pension and are below a low-income cut-off level.

This evaluation examines take-up of the Guaranteed Income Supplement by various socioeconomic groups, the characteristics of those who are eligible for the Supplement but do not receive it, and barriers faced by vulnerable groups.

Tax time insights: Experiences of people living on low income in Canada

In this presentation, Nirupa Varatharasan, Research & Evaluation Officer with Prosper Canada, explains the research methods and insights gathered in the report 'Tax time insights: Experiences of people living on low income in Canada.'

This includes demographic information, the type of tax filing resources accessed by this population, and insights on the types of challenges and opportunities that result from their tax filing processes.

This presentation is from the session 'Barriers to tax filing experienced by people with low incomes', at the research symposium hosted by Prosper Canada and Intuit, February 7, 2019, in Ottawa.

View all presentations from this event here.



Income tax filing and benefits take-up: Challenges and opportunities for Canadians living on low incomes

In this presentation, Uttam Bajwa, Global Health and Research Associate with the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, reports on tax filing challenges and opportunities for Canadians living on low incomes. This includes the challenges of not knowing what to do, fear and mistrust, and challenges accessing supports.

This presentation is based on the research conducted for the Prosper Canada report 'Tax time insights: Experiences of people living on low incomes in Canada'.

This presentation is from the session 'Barriers to tax filing experienced by people with low incomes', at the research symposium hosted by Prosper Canada and Intuit, February 7, 2019, in Ottawa.

View all presentations from this event here.



Changes in wealth across the income distribution, 1999 to 2012

REMPLIR UNE DÉCLARATION PEUT VOUS ÊTRE AVANTAGEUX! – Nouveaux arrivants

Thriving but Still Vulnerable in the U.S.

Advancing Health Equity through Benefits Screening

Do you know a woman who is being abused? A legal rights handbook.

Making a humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) application

Humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) applications and refugee claims: how are they different?

Toronto’s Vital Signs

Money Talk for Newcomers

Newcomer Finances: Instructor’s Manual

Immigrant Financial Services Study

The burden of Poverty: A snapshot of poverty across Canada

Investing in the American Dream: How Financial Institutions Can Build Long-Term Relationships with Immigrants Before and After Immigration Reform

Highlights of The Case for Financial Literacy

Social Policy That Works: An Agenda

In from the Margins: A Call to Action on Poverty, Housing and Homelessness