Income Tax Clinics for Low-Income People

By: 211 - Information & Referral Team

Tax clinics allow low-income people to take advantage of free or low-cost services to help them complete their tax returns, with the help of volunteers trained by Canada Revenue Agency and Revenu Quebec. Completing your tax return can be a complex exercise, but it is worth doing it properly to benefit of all the credits and deductions available.

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Eligible person

Income Treshold

Many community groups offer tax clinics, but the fixed fee scales from Revenu Québec determine the admissibility to these clinics. Here are the fee scales established by Revenu Québec in 2019 (for income tax returns of 2018):

Number of people

Maximum Income

A single person

$25,000

A couple

$30,000 

An adult with one child

$30,000

Each additional dependent

$2,000

 

Tax situation

To qualify for a tax clinic, your tax situation should be considered "simple".

Revenu Québec excludes complex tax situations from the voluntary tax program. Your tax situation will not be considered simple if one of the following criteria applies:

  • you are self-employed or have employment expenses;
  • you have rental or business income and expenses;
  • you sold your principal residence
  • you have capital gains or losses;
  • you declared bankruptcy; or
  • you are completing the return of a deceased person.1

Take advantage of available tax credits

Even if you haven’t reimbursed any sums to the two orders or government, it is important to complete your income tax returns, because of the possibility for low-income people to benefit from many tax credits, simply by filing in their income tax returns.

For example, you may be eligible for the following refundable and non-refundable tax credits:

Provincial Government - Québec

Federal Government - Canada

The Different Types of Tax Clinics

There are many types of tax clinics depending on the different clientele they prioritize and the period in the year which they are open.

All-year round opened tax clinics.

There are very few of these types of clinics. On our web site, we only list opened clinics in specific moments of the year only, at the period where income tax refunds are prepared, between February to May. After this period, you will find only the ones who are open all year round.

Clinics for seniors

Many clinics accept only the income tax returns from 50 and older, 60 and older or 65 and older. Seniors may also obtain services in clinics that accept a clientele of all ages. To make sure about that the eligibility criteria, you must open the information sheet by clicking on the community group’s name and look into the “eligibility” and “coverage” fields.

Clinics whose clientele are immigrants who have arrived in Québec in the last five years

Immigrants must pay a particular attention to the “eligibility” field of the listed resources since many community groups refuse to complete the income tax returns of immigrants because of certain particularities that complicate their income tax returns. Fortunately, many other ones accept specifically this clientele. To be certain about the eligibility criteria, you must open the information sheet by clicking the name of the organization and verify the “eligibility” and “coverage area” field.

Clinics open for everyone

They are open to all low-income people, whatever their age, except for newcomers who have arrived less than 5 years old ago.

Please note: one must not rely on the name of the community group to conclude that you are not eligible for its services. You must read carefully the “eligibility” and “coverage area” field.

 

To find a tax clinic near you, you can communicate with one of our counsellor by calling 211.

 

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1 Revenu Québec, Volunteer Program, https://www.revenuquebec.ca/en/fair-for-all/helping-you-meet-your-obligations/the-volunteer-program/