Letter: Seniors counsellors and free income tax service help many in Castlegar
Two services of Castlegar & District Community Services Society (CDCSS) assist over 300 people a year without funding from any level of government.
“These volunteer-run programs show how individual generosity provides benefits for many others,” said Board Chair Roberta Hamilton.
An ongoing service, the Seniors Counselling Program, helps older people fill in application forms for pensions, pension supplements, and other benefits for which they may be eligible. Counsellors will also point the way to other sources of information.
Seniors Counsellor Gary Lelliot said that governments are getting better at informing people of their rights to benefits, and making forms easier to understand, but many are still confused or have language difficulties.
A counsellor is available every Wednesday morning, and an appointment is recommended. Free information pamphlets are available any time.
A related service is the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP), which runs during March and April.
Canada Revenue Agency trained volunteers will help clients complete simple tax returns, at no charge, if their total income is under $25,000 (single) or $30,000 (couple). Some other restrictions apply, but a client can be any age.
More information is available by calling CDCSS, or Canada Revenue Agency at 1-800-959-8281, or consulting the CRA website.
The CVITP is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the CDCSS office, 1007-2nd Street, and no appointment is necessary. Prospective clients should bring all their records, and be prepared to leave them at the office.
“Except for used computers and training that the CRA provided, all the costs of delivering these programs are covered by CDCSS fundraising,” said Hamilton.
Added Executive Director Andrew Earnshaw, “And, of course, our fantastic volunteers. We couldn’t do without them, and we are always looking for more.”
For more information on these programs, or to volunteer or donate, call CDCSS at 250-365-2104, or visit For more information on these programs, or to volunteer or donate, call CDCSS at 250-365-2104, or visit the office, 1007-2nd Street. CDCSS is a CRA registered charity.