Low-income families throughout Ottawa won't have to worry about losing a portion of their tax return to processing fees this tax season.
The Ottawa chapter of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now [Canada] (ACORN Canada) is providing free tax return service for the less privileged in the community.
The program is made possible through the efforts of volunteers like Keisha Lim, a fourth-year economics student at the University of Ottawa who is also serving as the tax clinic coordinator.
"On average, we save people around $80 by doing their taxes here," said Lim. "This is the third year that ACORN has been running the tax service. We have done 1,266 tax returns the last two years, and 244 for back taxes. We've put back $1.6 million into the neighbourhood through those savings."
This is the third year the program has been serving the community, and has done roughly 600 returns per year.
"We're here to help people," said Lim. "Instead of putting money in the pockets of corporations, we're letting people keep that money themselves."
The program has helped people from all over the Ottawa area, from places as far away as North Grenville, Kanata, and Orleans.