here is a little tidbit about us...

Prior to 2000, the “Income Tax Clinic” was coordinated by Collingwood Neighbourhood House and staffed by volunteers from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia (now known as the CPABC).  The "Income Tax Clinic” was a seniors only program serving approximately 30 to 40 individuals from the community each tax year. 

Renfrew-Collingwood (Volunteer) Income Tax Service, founded in 2000 in partnership with the Canada Revenue Agency’s Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP), Collingwood Neighbourhood House, clients, volunteers, and various sponsors with a sole purpose to bring “professional income tax preparation services to the rest of us" for a mere, if at all possible, donation.  Beginning with a handful of volunteers and clients we started what is now regarded as the "gold standard of tax clinics" across the country.  Today, more than 50 volunteers participate annually in: coordinating, marketing, training, tax support and preparation, information technology support, and hosting more than 3,500 plus individuals clients each year.

"what we believe in and strive for..."

Renfrew-Collingwood (Volunteer) Income Tax Service is a partnership between our sponsors, partners and volunteers.  We are a volunteer organized and operated community service dedicated in:

  • Assisting as many eligible individuals and families in our community as possible each year

  • Acquiring, recruiting, training, and retaining over 50 plus volunteers to help 3400+ clients with their personal income tax returns each year and while maintaining our ten-year double digit growth trajectory.

  • Providing the best volunteer experiences that is “second to none”

  • Offering uncompromising professional client services to all participants of our program

  • Being environmentally friendly in all that we do

  • Connecting volunteers with each other through networking opportunities and fostering lifelong friendships

  • Building stronger ties with the community through advocacy of financial literacy

"and who we are..."

All our volunteers are required to undergo rigorous training and screening from Collingwood Neighourhood House and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) under the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP).  We are: students, young professionals, controllers, designated professional accountants, CRA employees, professional income tax preparers, and non-accountants from the neighbourhood and surrounding communities.  We will be delighted to review your return(s) with you and answer any questions that you may have during clinic operating hours. Please feel free to drop by and say hello!


Clinic & Booking Information

Registrations for 2019 (tax year 2018) will open on FRIDAY, February 1st, 2019

Our Income Tax Preparation Service will run from Tuesday, February 26th, 2019 to Saturday, May 4th, 2019.  The last day for taxpayers' owing will be Tuesday, April 30th, 2019, midnight

Note: HOLIDAY CLOSURE - Collingwood Neighbourhood House will be CLOSED on Good Friday, April 19th, 2019, and Easter Monday, April 22nd, 2019.  However, there will be a session on Saturday, April 20th, 2019, please book earlier if you intend to come on this day.

Tax Clinic Operating Hours:
Tuesday from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Thursday from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Saturdays from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm

NOTE: All Monday Night Sessions for 2019 have been cancelled. We apologize for the inconvenience.

A limited number of drop-in appointment slots will be made available prior to each session so you can call or come in on the day of to inquire about availability.  Additionally, for very simple returns that are volunteer pre-assessed can be done via "drop-off" and "pick up", please call or come in and speak to us about details and qualification if you are interested


Collingwood Neighbourhood House - 5288 Joyce Street in Vancouver (cross street Euclid Ave.)
Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm
Saturday from 6:30 am to 8:00 pm
Sunday from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm

Transit & Parking Information. We are approximately 5 minutes south of the Joyce-Collingwood Skytrain Station by foot and accessible by the #41 and #43 bus (for further transit information, please refer to the Translink site for further information and assistance).  Free surface and underground parking (please enter from Euclid Avenue) is available.  We are a wheelchair accessible facility.

"all the folks that make it possible for us to do what we do for all of you"


Community Host Partner - Collingwood Neighbourhood House
One of largest local social organizations in Vancouver.  Since the 1980's, the Collingwood Neighbourhood House has been actively promoting the well being of the Renfrew-Collingwood community by providing leadership and working collaboratively with individuals, families, agencies and other groups to develop and support inclusive, innovative, sustainable initiatives and services that respond to the community’s social, educational, economic, health, cultural and recreational needs. The Neighbourhood House offers a variety of recreational, senior, youth, childcare and settlement support services to members of the community.

Volunteer Support & Training Partner - Canada Revenue Agency (Community Volunteer Income Tax Program)
The CVITP was developed to help eligible individuals who are not able to prepare their income tax and benefit returns by themselves. It is intended to ensure that all taxpayers have equal access to the tax system and receives all the income tested benefits that they are entitled to each year.

Since 1971, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has been partnering with community organizations to have volunteers prepare income tax and benefit returns for eligible individuals. If you have a basic understanding of income tax and would like to become a CVITP volunteer, you need to be associated with a community organization, such as Collingwood Neighbourhood House. Your local CRA coordinator can help you to identify any local organizations that need volunteers.

Many taxpayers do not know how to prepare their income tax and benefit return themselves. We need volunteers like you to provide this important community service to taxpayers who have low income and a simple tax situation. Volunteers must respect the confidentiality of taxpayer information and decline any offers of monetary reward for their services.  For further information on the CVITP, please click here.

Corporate Software Partner - Intuit Canada
Intuit Canada is the one of the most trusted names in financial software.  Intuit is the developer of both market leading personal tax preparation software QuickTax (now TurboTax) and bookkeeping software Quickbooks.  Intuit is the developer of one of the most widely used professional tax preparation software used by accountants and income tax practitioners across the country - Profile.  For more information on all of Intuit Canada's products or to try it for FREE, please visit them by clicking here or call 1-800-452-9970.

Corporate Partner - Starbucks Canada
Since 1987, Starbucks Canada has been providing high quality coffee and beans to Vancouverites.  For past five years our neighbourhood Starbucks - Central Park Plaza - #190 - 3665 Kingsway, courtesy of Store Manager - Stephen Hill and his staff, have provided our volunteers with coffee and pastries.  If you are in the neighbourhood and need a much needed caffeine fix, make sure you stop by and say "hello".  




General Inquiries/Comments/Suggestions

If you have any questions, comments, and/or suggestions regarding our service or taxes, please feel free to use the form below.  Note: We cannot offer professional advice as per CVITP guidelines and if you are contacting us after our last session, please contact Canada Revenue Agency directly by using the number below.

Name *

Tax Return Inquiries

If you have questions regarding your tax return (i.e. status, refund, etc.) after our service has closed, you can call:

Residents & Non-Residents - Canada Revenue Agency
Phone: 1-800-959-8281 (toll free)
Automated service is available 24/7.
Telephone agents are available weekdays from
9:00AM to 5:00PM local time, except holidays.  Press * (star) key to speak to bypass automated menu to speak directly to a service representative.

Other Helpful numbers

e-service Helpdesk for individuals                                                                    1-800-714-7257
Call these numbers when you cannot access My Account or Quick Access,
or when you need help with NETFILE, TELEFILE, or Represent a client

Tax Information Phone Service (T.I.P.S.)                                                              1-800-267-6999
This automated phone service provides information to individuals and businesses

GST/HST credit                                                                                                          1-800-959-1953
GST/HST credit and related provincial and territorial programs

Payment arrangements                                                                                           1-888-863-8657
Discuss income tax payment arrangements with an agent

For a detailed list of directories at the Canada Revenue Agency, please click here



Mailing address

Renfrew-Collingwood Income Tax Service
c/o Collingwood Neighbourhood House
5288 Joyce Street
Vancouver, BC V5R 6C9

Other web resources

Canada Revenue Agency
Service Canada

To the awesome volunteer doing my taxes at Collingwood, as a single mother with a brain injury I cannot do my own taxes or afford to pay to have them done. I need my child tax [benefits] and GST [rebate]. Your support is truly a miracle in our life! The little things you do can make a really big difference in peoples lives. Thank you ever so much!
— Amanda and Mary D.

We are always on the lookout for awesome talent such as yourself.  But before you do anything else, a "little heads up", all volunteer candidates, particularly those wanting to assist in income tax preparation should:

  1. Possess basic working knowledge of the Canadian taxation system (either have taken some introductory level tax course or have done equivalent coursework and/or work experience (i.e. you work in accounting or you have done your own taxes for the last couple years etc.).

  2. Be very comfortable working with computers and navigating around different programs.

  3. Be able to communicate effectively with a variety people (i.e. you are not shy) - everything we do is client facing.

  4. Exhibit high levels of integrity, professionalism and respect client privacy.

If you are missing some of these critical skills, the learning curve can be quite steep based on previous experience.  However, not all of our volunteers do income tax preparation, some handle logistics/setup, hosting, information technology support, marketing, training, recruiting, engagement, etc.  So there are definitely other areas to contribute within the program while we work with you to build up your skill sets if you are interested.  Please let us know in your Statement of Interest.

If you are a new volunteer (a newbie) to the CVITP, you musT

  1. Before you register with the Canada Revenue Agency as a Volunteer for the CVITP, register for you EFILE and REPID (see below for instructions), then go here, to register as a CVITP volunteer. Please indicate under the appropriate section that you wish to volunteer for "Collingwood Neighbourhood House". You should complete steps 2 and 3 first prior to doing this as you might need to input both your EFILE and REPID into the form.

  2. Register for an EFILE number (only if you are going to be doing income tax preparation and transmitting client returns electronically). Host volunteers do not need to do this step. Go here. Complete this as soon as you can as it can take up to 30 days or more to fully process.

    1. Select "Volunteer by CRA invitation"

    2. Put in "Community Volunteer Income Tax Program" as the organization/proprietorship/partnership name

    3. Put your name into "Contact Name" Field

    4. Select T1 Return Type Only

    5. Select NO - Transmitting T1013 (not authorized to represent the client)

    6. Enter your home address as business and mailing addresses

    7. Fill in information for Applicant 1 only (SIN#, Name, and "Volunteer" as title)

    8. Select NO - don't let CRA release your information to the public.

    9. Security Protocol box - "we do not keep or store any client information"

  3. Register for an REPID, optional but helpful, so that you can get access to CVITP’s new Autofill service. You can go here to get it.

  4. Submit a recent copy of your resume and a brief statement of interest to us. You can elaborate on why you are interested in joining the program or what skills you bring etc. so we can figure out how to integrate and train you.

  5. Members of our talent wranglers team will do the candidate assessment that may include a phone or in-person interviews etc.. Successful candidates will then be formally invited to Orientation Day to meet the rest the team and begin their training and on-boarding as the newest members of our team.

  6. All new volunteers must complete a Collingwood Neighbourhood House Volunteer Registration Form as well as complete a free complimentary criminal record search as per Collingwood Neighbourhood House and CVITP protocols.

If you are a returning volunteer to the CVITP, you musT

  1. You will need to re-register as a volunteer. Go here. Make sure you designate "Collingwood Neighbourhood House" as one of the organizations that you wish to volunteer for when completing this step. Please do steps 2 and 3 first, you will need both your EFILE and REPID on the volunteer registration form.

  2. You will need to renew your EFILE number if you plan to prepare client tax returns. Host volunteers do not have to complete this process. Go here. Please do this as soon as you can as this can take up to 30 days or more to process. You will need your EFILE number and password from last year to complete this step. If you forgot your password or having issues completing this part, please call the EFILE Helpdesk at: 1-800-461-1806 during normal operating hours (7:15 am to 6:30 pm Central Standard Time) to reset your password.

  3. Register for an REPID, optional but helpful in certain situations when you prepare returns, so that you can get access to CVITP’s new Autofill service. You can go here to get it.

  4. You will have to sign up and attend one of the mandatory CVITP webinars beginning in mid January to mid March. Optional webinars on special topic specifically with Senior, First Nation, Newcomer returns are available. If you have time or just curious, you can sign up and learn about those as well as our program serves a variety of clients.

  5. If you are a volunteer joining us from another organization you will need to complete both a Volunteer Registration Form and complimentary criminal record search for Collingwood Neighbourhood House as per protocol. We highly recommend that you attend our Orientation Day event

Source: Community Volunteer Income Tax Program - Volunteer Resources


Client Checkli$t

To maximize all tax benefits for you, we need to ensure that you are getting all the tax credits and deductions you are entitled to.  So before you come in to see us, please make sure that you have all the necessary documents, receipts, and income records for our volunteers to minimize your tax obligations.

Basic Information, if applicable:

  • Please bring a valid (not expired) government issued photo ID with you to your appointment.

  • A copy of 2017 Tax Return(s)

  • 2017 Notice of Assessment/Reassessment(s)

  • Social Insurance Number(s) or Individual Tax Number (ITN). If you need one, you can contact Service Canada. Click here for more info.

  • Date of Birth Information for all dependents (under 18, or over 65, or dependents with disabilities). A dependent can be an uncle, aunt, grandparent, parent, etc.

  • Details of spouse and dependent income, if applicable particularly if spouse or dependent is overseas (i.e. not living with you)

  • If you are participating in the Home Buyer's Plan (HBP) or Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP), please provide volunteers with details of your total withdrawal and minimum payment plan as per your Notice of Assessment/Reassessment from the previous year.

  • All applicable 2018 tax document(s) - see below for a non-exhaustive list of tax documents to help you determine what you may need to bring to your session. You can compare what you received last year with what you have currently received to see if you are missing any possible slips. Depending on which slips you are missing, you maybe able to call Canada Revenue Agency at: 1-800-959-8281 (press star key) to get the missing information either over phone or via mail. If you have access to the CRA My Account Service and/or App, you can also retrieve missing information that way. Beginning in 2019, we will have access to CRA Auto-Fill service that maybe able to retrieve, with client permission, any tax information entered under your account. Service is limited on how far back we can go and when certain tax slips are sent into the CRA.

  • If you are: a domestic or international student, newcomer to Canada, senior, person with disabilities, or a member of the First Nations, please see additional notes below for more information regarding your specific situation.

  • Principal Residence. If you sold your principal residence (the house you lived in) after 2016 you must report the sale on your tax return even though the sale is not taxable. We require the year you purchased your residence, the gross proceeds on the sale and the address of the property. You may also have to report a deemed disposition if you started renting your principal residence or if a property you were renting became your principal residence.

  • Please also inform the volunteer if the following “life changing” event happened in the last calendar year (i.e. before December 31):

    • marital status change

    • had a new baby

    • change of address

    • change jobs

    • change of name

common T-Slips (tax slips)

  • All Employment Income (T4) slips - salary and wages from each employer, if applicable. If you were not issued a T4 slip, you can bring us copies of your cheque stubs to calculate income. Note: tips and gratuities are not included in the T4 slip, please provide the volunteer with an estimate (always overestimate and never underestimate).

  • Employment Insurance Benefits (T4E)

  • Mutual funds, ETF, Income Trust, Limited Partnerships, REITs (T3) - (Note: these forms are do not have to be issued until the end of March so if you are expecting these please do not make an appointment earlier than April)

  • Investment, annuity, and Canada Savings Bond (T5)

  • Workers' compensation benefits, BC social assistance or disability assistance (T5007)

  • RRSP Withdrawals (T4RSP)

  • Contract Payments (T5018)

  • Pension, or Annuities, Other Income (T4A)

  • All other Information Slips

Common Receipts

  • Eligible medical receipts. Refer to this non-exhaustive list from the CRA.

  • RRSP receipts for the current tax year. Deadline for 2018 tax year is March 1st, 2019. Be careful not to over contribute by more than $2,000 over what is indicated on your notice of assessment/reassessment.

  • Professional or Union Dues receipts.

  • Political donation receipts.

  • Charitable donation receipts. Note: Not all "charitable" donee organizations are registered and recognized, please check the CRA registry by clicking here. Beginning January 1st, 2018, Federal First-time Donor Super Credit is cancelled

  • Tools Expenses (Tradesperson only). If you are claiming this deduction, you will need a completed and employer T2200 - see below.

  • Carrying charges and interest expenses (DO NOT include safety deposit box charges)

  • Moving Expenses (see here for more information), if applicable

  • Exam Fees for professional certification

Note: For employees claiming employment expenses such as: mobile phone charges, gas, or tools, you must have your employer complete and sign a (T2200) - Declaration of Employment Conditions.  Please present the completed form to the volunteer.

for individual(s) with children under 18

  • Universal Child Care Benefit (RC62). For children under six years old only. Since 2016, the UCCB has been replaced by the Canada Child Benefit (CCB). If you need to complete prior year returns, you may need to bring this slip..

  • Childcare receipts. If you have a private babysitter, make sure you get their Social Insurance Number to claim expenses.

  • Children's Fitness and Arts Receipts:

    • BC Child Fitness Tax Credit is cancelled in 2018. For children under 16 or (under 18 with disability) enrolled in a prescribed program for physical activities.

    • BC Child Fitness Equipment Tax Credit is cancelled in 2018. Equipment purchased for children participating in a program that qualifies for the Child Fitness Tax Credit.

    • BC Education Coaching Credit is cancelled in 2018.

    • BC Child Art Tax Credit is cancelled in 2018. For children under 18 enrolled in a prescribed program of artistic, cultural, recreational, or development activity.

  • Support payments for: child/spouse/or common-law partner.

  • Adoption expenses - see here for eligible expenses.

Additional Resources:
RC4092 Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs)

for Students

If applicable, you may also need to bring:

  • Tuition, Textbook Tax Slip (T2202A). - If you are not mailed one, you can download it from the student account. Note: Only government registered and recognized post secondary institutions can issue these slips.

  • Bursary, scholarship, or research grant tax slip (T4A) - if you receive a bursary, scholarship, or research grant.

  • Receipts for moving expenses (i.e. if you are moving from Ontario to BC for school), if applicable.

  • UPASS or Monthly Transit Pass receipts are no longer needed. Federal Transit Credit for any transit use after July 1, 2017 has been cancelled. If you have very old transit pass receipts and need to complete a prior year return, you may still use it.

  • Student dental and/or health insurance premiums receipts. Usually line item on your tuition receipt.

  • Student Loan Interest Paid for 2018. Downloaded from the National Student Loan Website or sent by your bank.

for international students

In addition to the Students section (above) and the Newcomers to Canada section (below), you may also need to bring:

  • Your date of arrival to Canada/Date of departure, if applicable.

    • If you arrived and stayed in Canada more than six months, you should file a NR74 with the International Tax Office to determine your residency status for tax purposes. Ideally, you should do this prior to your appointment as this can take a number of weeks to determine.

    • Note: If you are planning to leaving Canada for more than six months, you must fill out a NR73 with the International Tax Office to determine if you need to file a future Canadian tax return after you have left the country. International Students that are returning home in 2019, may need to file an NR73 to determine if they need to file a return in 2020 for (tax year 2019).

  • Receipts for moving expenses, if applicable.

Important Information for International Students:

  • Refunds and GST Rebates. If you will be leaving Canada, recommended that you keep your Canadian Bank accounts open until all refunds, and GST rebates have been transferred to you. Payments from some Canadian Government programs are not sent to foreign bank accounts and cashing foreign cheques in your home country maybe difficult for some countries.

  • If you do not qualify for a Social Insurance Number (SIN#) as per Service Canada's criteria.  You will need to obtain an Individual Tax Number (ITN) by completing a T1261, which can take a a number of months so do this as soon as possible.  Social Insurance Numbers are required if you are receiving a bursary,grant or scholarship, or student has a work permit.

  • If you are already or plan to study in Canada for more than six months, you should also file a RC151 form to get some of the GST quarterly payments you may be entitled to receive had you filed an income tax return in Canada.  Mail this form to the International Tax Office (address towards the bottom of the page).

Additional Resources:
Pamphlet 105 - Students and Income Tax
Canada Revenue Agency Student Information Page
International Tax Office Contact Information
International Students Information
RC4112 Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP)

for newcomers to Canada

If applicable, you may also need to bring:

  • Documentation or know the arrival date into Canada for all individuals filing a tax return.

  • Documentation of spousal or child support, if applicable.

  • Receipts for moving expenses.

Important Information for newcomers to Canada:

  • Social Insurance Number. If you do not have one, make sure that you get one from Service Canada. You can go in person to your local Service Canada branch, or download the form and mail it to them. The process can take a couple of weeks and you will need this to work in Canada, access Canadian Social Programs and to complete your annual tax return. Please do this prior to coming into see us.

  • If you came into the country last calendar year and have been in the country more than six months, please fill out the NR74 form and mail it to the International Tax Office to determine your residency status for tax purposes for last year. This process should be done as early as possible and prior to scheduling an appointment with us if possible. You should also file a RC151 to get all or some of the GST rebates you are entitle to last year. Volunteers can assist in completing these forms but there will be some additional delays with the processing of your return if an NR74 form has not been completed.

  • If you are planning on leaving the country for more than six months, you will need to fill out a NR73 and file it with the International Tax Office to determine if you need to file a tax return after you have left the country.

  • If you have up to $250,000 CDN in foreign property, or investments, you must declare and complete a T1135. You will not have to complete the T1135 in the year of entry.

  • You can claim up to $5,000 if you purchased a new home in the current tax year provided that you or your spouse have not owned a principal residence four years prior.

  • If you have purchased a new home in the last calendar year, please inform our volunteers as you may also qualify for a first time homeowners tax credit.

for seniors

If applicable, you may also need to bring:

  • Canada Pension Plan (T4A(P))

  • Old Age Security (T4OAS)

  • Registered Retired Income Fund Payments (T4RIF)

  • Registered Retired Savings Plan Withdrawals (T4RSP)

  • Foreign Pensions, if applicable

    • Please bring documentation/receipts of money received. Convert the payments to Canadian dollars using the average annual exchange rate between the foreign currency and Canadian dollar. Click here for the average annual exchange rate.

  • If you are currently paying taxes by instalment, please bring your instalment schedule or inform the volunteer that you are already paying taxes by instalment so that the volunteer will put this information in your return.

  • Seniors monthly or annual bus passes (Note: please provide receipts if possible)

  • Receipts for eligible home renovation expenses for both the Federal Home Accessibility Tax Credit and BC Senior's Home Renovation Tax Credit. - up to $10,000 of eligible expenses.

Additional Resources:
Canada Revenue Agency's Seniors Information Page
Information for Residents of British Columbia

for person(s) with disabilities

If applicable, you may also need to bring:

  • Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) (T4A) - for more information on RDSP, click here.

  • Eligible medical expenses. If alterations/renovations are needed to modify your home (i.e. ramp installed, or lowering of kitchen cabinets, etc.), some of these may qualify as eligible medical expenses, please bring receipts and speak with one of our volunteers.

  • Important Information for person(s) with disabilities:

    • If claiming the disability tax credit, make sure you have already completed a T2201 - Disability Tax Certificate, send, approved and on record at the CRA. If you DO NOT, you will need to have your family physician or specialist complete the form and send to Canada Revenue Agency for approval prior to claiming the credit on your tax return. You can elect on the form to have the CRA retroactively adjust any prior years necessary. We recommend not claiming this credit if you do not have a valid T2201 form with the CRA or you are not sure (receiving disability social benefits doesn’t mean you have a disability tax certificate or qualify for it), as claiming it would result in processing delays until it has been received and approved. If you have already completed this, please let the volunteer know to claim the disability tax credit on your return. Note: Disability Tax Certificates do expire depending on the severity of the disability and CRA approval. As a taxpayer, you need to know the expiry date and if you do not know, please call the CRA to make sure before you come into do your taxes.

For First Nations

If applicable, you may also need to bring:

  • Indian Status Card

  • If you are a member of the Nisga Nation, you need to inform our volunteers.