October 17th is the UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. This is a day devoted to presenting and promoting concrete activities for the eradication of poverty.
Poverty is a violation of human rights. We need to come together to ensure that these rights are respected.
The Bruce Grey Poverty Task Force along with the United Way of Bruce Grey and The Grey Bruce Community Foundation are thrilled to release a Grey Bruce Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) Case Study. The study focused on the free income tax programs offered at The Meeting Place/Tobermory and the South East Grey Community Health Centre in Grey Bruce.
Together, The Meeting Place CVITP and South East Grey Community Health Centre CVITP helped 332 residents access over $1 million ($1,165,528) in income benefits, tax credits and refunds across 5 municipalities. On average, each beneficiary received $3,100 ($3,099.81).
The Meeting Place helped 62 individuals in North Bruce Peninsula access $281,932 in income benefits, tax credits and refunds after filing 76 returns. On average, each beneficiary received $3,710 ($3,709.63) with some individuals filing more than 1 year.
South East Grey Community Health Centre helped 270 individuals in 4 municipalities (Southgate, Grey Highlands, West Grey and Chatsworth) access $883,596 in income benefits, tax credits and refunds after filing 300 returns. On average, each beneficiary received $2,945 ($2,945.32).
There are 14 organizations throughout Bruce and Grey Counties that are registered with the CRA, to provide free income tax services. In 2022, 3,550 returns were filed by 3,050 individuals in Bruce, Grey and Huron Counties. Based on the findings of this Case Study, the overall CVITP contributed to a potential return of $11 million to households in 3 Counties.
“There are too many people across Grey Bruce facing poverty and in need of support. The Community Volunteer Income Tax Program has been instrumental in assisting many constituents file their taxes to ensure they have access to important government benefits and entitlements. This latest study shows just how impactful this program along with our dedicated community volunteers are in helping those in need. My thanks to all those involved for #makingadifference.”- MP Alex Ruff.
The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty’s 2023 theme is Decent Work and Social Protection. Being able to file your income tax and receive additional financial benefits has a significant impact on local people enduring poverty.
For local people, filing their taxes is a significant opportunity to gain further income and supports for their household.
The Poverty Task Force is encouraging people who are interested in volunteering with the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program to connect with local Grey Bruce organizations listed at: www.freetaxclinics.ca