Helping Canadians with low income complete their taxes
Nancy McKenna (Canada Revenue Agency) and Kylie Havelock (Canadian Digital Service)
Every day, Canadians use government services. As public servants, we exist to design and deliver those services. Many of those services are mission critical to people who need them. What this means is that when people need government services, they are often facing significant hardship.
If we fail to provide accessible services, this has a very real impact on people’s lives. No-one understands this more than the dedicated Canadians who give their time and energy to run the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program. These volunteers run hundreds of local drop-in clinics all across Canada to help people on modest incomes file their tax returns — quickly, easily, and for free.
Last year, these volunteers helped more than 700,000 people file their taxes at no cost. By filing a tax return, those people automatically received $1.7 billion in benefits and refunds they were entitled to. This is a great example of how the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is working hard to make people’s lives better. That’s why we’re excited to start working with the CRA to help them improve tax services for the people who need them most.
Over the next few months, the Canadian Digital Service (CDS) and the CRA will be doing extensive research to understand how to improve the experience of filing tax returns for Canadians with low income. We’ll be talking with Canadians who need the most help filing their taxes, as well as the volunteers and public servants who are working behind the scenes to help them. By combining their expert knowledge with our skills and experience at CDS, we can make a real difference to millions of lives.