I was recently asked by one of our local residents, for more information concerning the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) which has been formally operative within Nakusp and vicinity since 2003.
For those not already familiar with this free and fully confidential service provided by non-compensated local volunteers trained by Canada Revenue, CVITP is set up to respond to a request by those who live on a low to moderate income, for personal assistance in completing and filing their non-complex personal annual income tax return.
This year, the 2012 returns were required to be filed preferably by computer (e-filed) which for program applicants not having much interest or experience with using digital means when meeting the annual April 30 submission deadline sometimes posed quite a challenge.
However, since the program is well entrenched and trusted within our community, an even greater than usual number of requests for assistance were received and dealt with successfully. This figure currently stands at 133 returns being processed, which is a significant number, signifying the importance of this free program which is available to persons of all ages and abilities who required help.
One of the important aspects of the program which is available to applicants when choosing to utilize the services of a CVITP volunteer, is the assurance that completed applications will be screened to ensure that the full range of financial entitlements such as allowances, pensions, health related and various other social and community service supports which they are entitled to are received, according to one’s eligibility.
A special letter of thanks and appreciation signed by the Minister of National Revenue, the Honourable Gail Shea and forwarded to each member of our Nakusp and area team was issued earlier this summer,
According to the Southern Interior Tax Services Office staff CVITP coordinator Gord Starchuk, as a result of the involvement of volunteers like those in our own communities, more than half a million eligible individuals receiving help, and approximately 15,000 of these are residents of B.C.
The following local area volunteers who have served for most or all of the ten years which the CVITP team has been in existence here at home are as follows: Dianne Zeuch, Heather Davidson, Debbie Bleakney, Ray Blanchette who has now relocated to Kelowna, and myself as the Volunteer Coordinator.
Two new volunteers also joined our team this year, and include Veronica Pellowski serving New Denver/Silverton/ Rosebery residents and Nathaniel Howard who has now established the Nakusp campus clinic at Selkirk College. Special thanks is also extended to members of the print media, and all those who have in any way, helped facilitate the development of the program, including past team members and assistants who have provided transportation and postal assistance, as well as the New Denver borrowed office space courtesy of Arrow and Slocan Lakes Community Services.