Tax Preparation Assistance (TPA) Program Volunteers
50 years of CPA volunteers providing tax preparation assistance
Every year for half a century, CPA Ontario members and students have made a positive contribution in communities across the province by helping individuals with low incomes file their taxes. Working in tandem with the 24 local CPA Associations and hundreds of social agencies, every year thousands of CPAs and CPA students help many thousands of Ontarians as volunteers in the Tax Preparation Assistance (TPA) program.
“CPA volunteers tell us they are gratified to use their skills and expertise to give something back by participating in the TPA program, which helps ensure people in need receive the tax rebates, credits and benefits to which they are entitled,” said Allison Patterson, Director, Member Experience at CPA Ontario who oversees the program. “According to Prosper Canada, as much as $354 million in income per year goes unclaimed.”
Kayla Levesque has participated in clinics since she was a student at Sudbury’s Cambrian College, where she currently is a Professor in the Business Administration – Accounting Program in the School of Business. The clinic was recognized with a Governor General’s Award for its work helping, among others, seniors, low-income students and immigrants.
On why she volunteers, Kayla said: “In a post-secondary setting, the professors are the role models for the students. I want students to graduate, feel part of the community and give back. I now have many graduates who continue to volunteer year after year because they enjoy it so much.”
Bert Watts has been a TPA volunteer for three years and loves the opportunity to give back to his community in Thunder Bay. Recently, Bert joined a team of CPAs who took part in a pilot project aimed at helping residents in remote, under-serviced communities. They visited the Red Rock Indian Band in Nipigon to help residents prepare their taxes.“
The people were super polite and friendly; just happy to see us,” said Bert, who hopes to take part in future clinics for First Nations communities.“
In Ontario alone, there are 41 federal and provincial income benefit programs that, when accessed, have been shown to increase incomes by as much as 50 percent. CPA Ontario thanks and congratulates the CPA volunteers who for 50 years have ensured that the people who need that money most have a chance to get it by filing their taxes,” said Allison. “These special professionals are a credit to their communities and the profession.”