Tax filing, benefits awareness efforts show results

More Islanders are getting benefits they deserve thanks to provincial and federal government cooperation.

Be Aware, and Get Your Share – a campaign of the Government of Prince Edward Island and Canada Revenue Agency – made Islanders aware of the many federal and provincial benefits they can receive just by filing their yearly income taxes. It also encouraged Islanders to use the federal Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP).

“Our government is committed to making tax filing as easy a process as possible, so that all Canadians can access the benefits they are due,” Minister of National Revenue Diane Lebouthillier said. The Community Volunteer Income Tax Program enables community organizations all across the country to provide assistance to individuals and families with modest incomes and simple tax situations. I am impressed and grateful for the generosity of the 170 volunteers who assisted 6,500 individuals with filing their tax returns in Prince Edward Island last year!”  

Dozens of public information sessions across the Island raised awareness of federal and provincial benefits including the Canada Child Benefit, GST/HST credits, free education money through the Canada Learning Bond, the province’s generic drug program, and the seniors property tax deferral program. The 85 information sessions connected in-person with 1,900 Islanders since September 2016.

Due in part to the Be Aware, and Get Your Share campaign, the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program saw its participants increase by 5 per cent – or 317 additional tax filings – for 2016 compared to the previous tax year. The number of volunteers with the program increased by 8 per cent and the number of participating organizations doubled, from 10 to 20.

The success of Be Aware, and Get Your Share and the CVITP can also be measured by the number of Islanders receiving new benefits after becoming aware of them through the programs.  Examples include individuals qualifying for programs such as the Allowance for Survivor under the OAS program or had adjustments made to their Child Rearing Provision for CPP receiving more information about them.

“I’m pleased that these programs helped connect Islanders with the benefits and resources they are entitled to,” Family and Human Services Minster Tina Mundy said. “Our government continues to collaborate with our federal partners to help Islanders improve their quality of life and level of independence – and as a result of this collaboration, more Islanders are now walking away with more money in their pockets.”

Media contact:
Lucas MacArthur
Executive Council Office

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