Income tax returns are due April 30

Seniors may miss out at tax time

Guaranteed Income Supplement, rental assistance and discount bus pass depend on Canada Revenue Agency filing

Thousands of low-income B.C. seniors missed out on important federal benefits because they didn’t file an income tax form, B.C.’s Seniors Advocate says.

With the April tax deadline approaching, Isobel Mackenzie has reminded seniors that 13,000 B.C. residents were found in a national survey to have missed out on the Guaranteed Income Supplement for as much as seven years. Once identified, seniors received retroactive payments from Ottawa.

“GIS is a key support for the lowest income seniors,” Mackenzie said. “These are seniors living on $17,300 annually or less; however to receive this GIS you must file an income tax return.”

Other B.C. senior benefits that require tax filing include Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER), a subsidized BC Bus Pass for seniors receiving GIS, and Medical Services Plan premium assistance for low-income B.C. residents.

Co-payments for home support service are also waived for seniors receiving GIS, and publicly funded residential care and assisted living rates are calculated based on after-tax income.

Volunteer income tax clinics hosted by community agencies in B.C. offer free tax preparation. A list of free tax preparation services is available here or by calling the office of the Seniors Advocate at 1-877-952-3181.

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: Quamichan student thinks it’s time to lower voting age

Simon Minkow talks about voting for 16-year-olds before presenting a petition to MLA Sonia Furstenau

Big crowd out at Laketown Ranch for Trooper’s Lake Days show

They were the band everyone was waiting for, and the Flats were rockin’ when Trooper performed

David Suzuki column: Carbon pricing is an important tool to tackle climate change

“As long as fossil fuels seem to be the cheapest energy to the public, they’ll keep using them”

Drivesmart column: Little things can make a big safety difference

Signal! The bulbs are good for more than three or four blinks, too.

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Coming up in Cowichan: Father’s Day fun to fundraising

Father’s Day Tractor Show at the BC Forest Discovery Centre

Cowichan Coffee Time: From CHAMPS to scholarships

The Duncan Kinettes donated $6,400 to the BC Summer Games

B.C. NHL prospect expected to make ‘full recovery’ after an incident in Calgary

Jordy Bellerive was injured in a reported house fire Saturday night

BC Lions defensive back Marcell Young levels streaker in home opener

Young hit the fan near one of the 45-yard lines

Police: Taxi driver who hit 8 Moscow pedestrians fell asleep

Two Mexican World Cup fans were among those hit

B.C. VIEWS: Orphans of our urban drug culture neglected again

Child advocate Bernard Richard leaves B.C. with harsh message

From marijuana beer to pot cookies, Canadian companies creating cannabis edibles

Manufacturers think that edibles will do well with users who don’t want to smoke or vape

Privacy lawyer warns against victim blaming in recent sextortion scams

Perpetrators get sexual photos of the victim and threaten to share them with friends and families

Most Read