CVITP in tax season

It’s another Saturday in tax time, and that, of course means work. Tax season for me starts January 4 and goes until April 30 (the filing deadline for most Canadian T1 tax returns), with a subset to June 15. June 15 is the filing deadline for those Canadians with self-employed and those US citizens who reside in Canada. These days I seem to do a lot of the latter.

But weekly, for the past three years, I’ve been volunteering doing tax returns for the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program, or CVITP. After more than 40 years of doing tax returns, this is a good way for me to give back. I’ve been volunteering with the clinic at Immigration Services Society. I don’t think I’ve ever volunteered with a nicer bunch of people. This year, I’m at the Surrey location

I know a lot of the volunteers there are young and getting market experience, so I feel like a bit of a fogey. This year, there’s only a couple of us doing the in-person workshop, so there’s a lot of chat time. It has not yet ceased to amaze me that so many people go through really difficult situations to get to where they are now: Canada.

I am in awe of people who manage to survive situations I can’t imagine, and then are so grateful to be here in Canada, a country I tend to take for granted sometimes, that they give of their time and energy to help people coming after them.

I like to talk with my fellow volunteers about our similarities, but also about our differences.

This year I am only doing Saturday mornings, and while I may grumble at getting out of bed, it doesn’t take long to be appreciative that I have a bed to grumble about getting out of. Really, the people with whom I volunteer are inspirational. My wish for all of them is that they experience more of the best of Canada in their lives, rather than the worst.

Now on to tax season……