CORNWALL — MP Eric Duncan’s volunteer income-tax clinic has resumed in modified form with strict physical distancing and safety measures in place.
Stilled for weeks by the COVID-19 pandemic, the revived free clinic now operates by drop-off appointments exclusively. The new approach, which started this week, will safely assist thousands of local residents to complete their income tax for free by volunteers who work to e-file them.
Duncan expects nearly 4,000 local residents may still be looking for the free service this tax season.
“There are still many residents who want to complete their income tax returns by the filing deadline,” the Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry MP remarked May 21. “However, it is important to know that the June 1st deadline is not as urgent now that the government has confirmed they will not cut-off key benefits like the Guaranteed Income Supplement, Child Tax Benefit, and GST/HST payments if you haven’t filed by the deadline.”
Those looking for help are invited to call Duncan’s constituency office at 1-888-805-2513 to book a scheduled time to drop off their tax slips and paperwork, leaving it with a volunteer at the front door. A volunteer will then complete the e-filed tax return within a couple of weeks and mail all the completed paperwork, along with a summary, back to the client through Canada Post.
The popular tax clinic previously operated on a walk-in model, a method that “will not return,” according to Duncan’s office.
“We are going to be very organized and follow the strict protocols set out by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit,” said Executive Assistant Adrian Bugelli. “By spreading out the appointment times and handling the cases right at the front door through plexiglass and with masks, we can start to address the major backlog in a safe way.”
See www.ericduncanmp.ca/taxes for a full breakdown of the program and to print off the drop-off form.