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UGM, CRA team up to help homeless people file taxes

(Getty Images)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Taxes can be a daunting task for many of us, but if you are living on the street, they may seem even more intimidating.

The Union Gospel Mission has a plan to help people file from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. in the Downtown Eastside Wednesday.

Each year some volunteers from the CRA come out and help people at the UGM with filing their taxes.

Jeremy Hunka with the UGM says many people on the street can feel overwhelmed.

“People who are homeless or who are on the brink of homelessness or are low income and are struggling, they often feel lost. They’re maybe in survival mode and they don’t necessarily have an idea of what services are available, how they can get help.”

Hunka says some of these tax returns will account for a few dollars and others thousands.

“[It could be money] that they didn’t know of but they were entitled to,” he says, adding money could be from recent claims or prior tax years.

“This can in some cases be small amounts, a few dozen dollars, hundreds of dollars, or in some cases thousands of dollars that can help somebody take a step, move out of a really tough situation they’re in while being homeless or on the brink of homelessness and take a step towards moving on in their life.”

He says anyone needing tax help planning to go to the event Wednesday afternoon, needs to bring their photo identification and a SIN card. If you don’t have those documents, Hunka says there will be people at the UGM to help you with that.