Canada’s Charities & Nonprofits

This infographic shows the size, scope, and economic contribution of charities and nonprofits across Canada.



Non-Profit Organizations and Volunteering Satellite Account: Human Resources Module, 2010 to 2019

In 2019, non-profit organizations (NPOs)—serving households, businesses and governments—employed 2.5 million people, representing 12.8% of all jobs in Canada. The employment share ranged between 12.4% and 12.8%, increasing during the 2010-to-2019 period.

While the economic and social landscape of Canada is very different at the time of this release than it was in 2019, these data provide a valuable baseline to better understand the potential impacts of COVID-19 in later reference years.



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.



Volunteering in Canada: Challenges and opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic

In 2018, over 12.7 million Canadians engaged in formal volunteering, with a total of 1.6 billion hours of their time given to charities, non-profits and community organizations—equivalent to almost 858,000 full-time year-round jobs. Today, Canadians are courageously volunteering in the midst of one of the largest health, economic and social challenges of our lifetime.

The study, based upon the 2018 General Social Survey on Giving, Volunteering and Participating, measures the contributions of those who have given their time. While these data are from prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, they provide insight into challenges and opportunities facing volunteerism in the current situation.



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.



Introducing Savings

This is one video in a series of videos catered to Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program volunteers on how to introduce the savings conversation to tax filers during the tax filing process. This video shows what the savings conversation could look like at different points in the tax preparation process: when reviewing the Intake Sheet and when entering wage information. The video also includes examples of commonly heard reasons tax filers give for not wanting to save, and possible responses.



Giving Savings Advice

This is one video in a series of videos catered to Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program volunteers on how to introduce the savings conversation to tax filers during the tax filing process. This video shows what the savings conversation could look like at a specific point in the tax preparation process: when entering dependent information. The video also includes examples of commonly heard reasons tax filers give for not wanting to save, and possible responses.



Talking About Savings

This is one video in a series of videos catered to Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program volunteers on how to introduce the savings conversation to tax filers during the tax filing process. This video discusses why promoting savings at tax time is a critical component of VITA volunteers.



Take the stress out of tax filing for people on low incomes

This is a one-hour webinar on the tax filing experiences of Canadians living on low incomes, and some successful strategies frontline practitioners can use to reduce stress at tax time for participants, in their delivery of community tax clinics. The speakers in this webinar are:

  • Nirupa Varatharasan, Prosper Canada, Toronto, ON
  • Jen Smerdon, The Working Centre, Kitchener-Waterloo, ON

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

Handouts for this webinar:
Tax time insights research report – webinar handout (Prosper Canada)
Income tax checklist – webinar handout (The Working Centre)
Form for missing income information – webinar handout (The Working Centre)
Income tax return summary sheet – webinar handout (The Working Centre)
Host checklist for tax clinics – webinar handout (The Working Centre)
Forms for rental information – webinar handout (The Working Centre)
Referral to FEPS – webinar handout (The Working Centre)

Time-stamps for the video-recording:
3:10 – Introductions and Agenda
6:32 – Audience polls
10:52 – Tax time insights: Experiences of people living on low incomes (Speaker: Nirupa Varatharasan)
26:00 – The Working Centre tax clinic experiences (Speaker: Jen Smerdon)

Scaling tax filing assistance

In this presentation, John Silver, Executive Director, Community Financial Counselling Service (CFCS), Winnipeg, shares insights from the low income tax program at CFCS. This program files almost 10,000 returns each year, and also provides tax clinic support to other agencies and delivers detailed training for tax clinic volunteers. 

This presentation is from the session 'Innovations in tax filing assistance', at the tax research symposium hosted by Prosper Canada and Intuit, February 7, 2019, in Ottawa.



Get Your Piece of the Money Pie

In this presentation, Althea Arsenault, Manager of Resource Development, NB Economic and Social Inclusion Corporation, shares insights from the 'Get Your Piece of the Money Pie' tax clinic program. This program has operated since 2010, and currently files over 23,000 returns each year.

This presentation is from the panel discussion 'National and regional strategies to boost tax filing', at the tax research symposium hosted by Prosper Canada and Intuit, February 7, 2019, in Ottawa.

View all presentations from this event here.



The Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP)

In this presentation, Nancy McKenna, Manager, CVITP, Canada Revenue Agency, explains how the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) works. This includes eligibility requirements, the size of the program in 2017/2018, and partnerships. 

This presentation is from the session 'Closing the tax-filing gap: Challenges and opportunities', at the tax research symposium hosted by Prosper Canada and Intuit, February 7, 2019, in Ottawa.

View all presentations from this event here.



Insights on planning free tax clinics in Indigenous communities

This infographic by Prosper Canada features advice to help Indigenous communities and organizations set up free income tax clinics. Advice was shared by clinic volunteers through a roundtable and interviews as part of the First Nations Financial Wellness project.

 



How Improved Training Strategies can Benefit Taxpayers Using VITA Programs


Many volunteer income tax assistance (VITA) sites experience inaccuracy in the taxes prepared according to audits conducted by the treasury inspector general for tax administration (TIGTA). Effective training strategies may influence the accuracy rates of tax returns prepared at VITA sites. Following the conceptual framework of the human capital theory, this multiple case study described the training strategies used by 4 VITA site coordinators in northwest Indiana. Emergent themes included multiple training strategies, mostly dependent on the size of the VITA site; quality reviews and their critical role in ensuring the accuracy of taxes prepared at VITA sites; and annual certification requirements to help verify volunteers’ understanding of tax law. Positive social change might occur when qualifying taxpayers gain access to the tax knowledge and expertise of volunteer tax preparers, resulting in more confidence in their tax situations. Under-served individuals should receive the tax credits and deductions to which they are entitled through accurate tax preparation.



VITA Sites Serving Native Communities: The State of the Field

Virtual VITA: Expanding Free Tax Preparation. Program Insights

This brief highlights findings from a small-scale pilot that integrated Virtual Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) services at two New York City Head Start programs during the 2013 tax season. The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) coordinated the pilot in partnership with the Administration for Children & Families (ACF) Region Food Bank For New York City was the VITA provider. Participating Head Start programs included The Children’s Aid Society and Kingsbridge Heights Community Center (KHCC).



Community Volunteer Tax Program: A Guide for Community Organizations

Your Money, Your Goals: A Financial Empowerment Toolkit for community volunteers (Intro)

Your Money, Your Goals: A Financial Empowerment Toolkit for community volunteers

The goal of the Your Money, Your Goals toolkit is to make it easier for volunteers, lay counselors and workers, mentors, and coaches to help the people they serve become more financially empowered. Module 1-2: Setting goals, saving, and planning. Module 3-5: Managing income and spending money. Module 6-7: Debt and credit reports. Module 8: Money services, cards, accounts, and loans. Module 9: Protecting your money.



The Professionalizing Field of Financial Counseling and Coaching: A Journal of Essays from Expert Perspectives in the Field

Lead By Design: Deepen Understanding of Program Design & Models to Better Meet People Where They Are

2014 VITA Data: Volunteer Tax Preparers Helped Return Nearly $4 Billion to Low-Income Taxpayers Across the Nation