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

Editor’s view: A Hopeful start to the community’s first 10 km run

Good mix of pomp and circumstance, variable terrain and silliness at Sunday’s run

Lower Mainland could see spring flurries

Snow expected at higher elevations

Auditors couldn’t tell if Fraser Health executives bought booze on taxpayers’ dime

Review from 2014 says one administrator bought Bose headphones on company credit card

Experts detect risk of rock avalanche above Bridal Falls near Chilliwack

Risk in the one-in-10,000-year is minimal but triggers FVRD to direct growth elsewhere

VIDEO: Olympic medalist teaches swimming in Hope

Brent Hayden fondly remembers local swim meet from his youth

Vancouver Aquarium’s resident octopus released into ocean

Staff let the Giant Pacific octopus go into the waters near Bowen Island so she can reproduce

Canucks find scoring touch in 5-2 win over Blackhawks

Four Vancouver skaters have two points apiece in victory over Chicago

‘Not well thought out:’ Arizona family slams B.C. speculation tax

American family spends half the year in vacation home on Vancouver Island

Family of B.C. wildfire victim wants better emergency preparedness for vulnerable people

Williams Lake’s David Jeff “fell through the cracks”

Senate backs bill to legalize recreational marijuana

Justin Trudeau reminded senators that his government was elected on a promise to legalize pot

Where Canadians buy real estate abroad: report

Hot Spots: Top 30 home-buying destinations for Canadians in the Americas

Ban on grizzly bear hunt, new rules take effect April 1

Taxidermists, tanners will have to report on any grizzly bears or parts brought to them

Ontario father grief stricken over murder of ex-wife and children

‘No words to explain,’ grieving father of slain teens says in statement

Most Read