Volunteer Tax Services
Exemption from Public Practice Licensing
Members preparing tax returns at volunteer tax clinics for low-income taxpayers must apply for exemption from public practice licensure. This application for exemption is required for all members not already licensed for public practice, including members who are employed in public practice but who are not personally licensed. In addition, members holding an “Other Regulated Services – Non-reviewable” license will need to apply for the exemption as this category does not permit them to prepare T1s.
Members are required to apply for this exemption each calendar year in which they plan to participate in a volunteer tax preparation program. This exemption is available only to members who volunteer these services through organized tax clinics/programs in British Columbia where they are preparing tax returns in person.
This is not an application to volunteer with CPABC – we are not conducting any tax clinics, nor are we calling for volunteers on behalf of other organizations.
Members can participate in the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) by volunteering to prepare tax returns and/or by helping a community organization host a free tax return preparation clinic through the CVITP. The CVITP helps community organizations across Canada host tax preparation clinics, and you can find an extensive list of these organizations on the CRA website. Signing up to volunteer is a straightforward process—all you have to do is submit a volunteer registration form on the CRA website and a CRA co-ordinator will contact you to help you find a participating organization in your area. Note that the online form has a checkbox for CPA members that will be used for statistical reporting, appreciation, and acknowledgement purposes.
Application includes Insurance Coverage
This application for exemption will provide you with free professional liability insurance coverage under a CPABC policy. This insurance covers volunteer services carried out in British Columbia only.
Members can apply for the exemption and insurance coverage if all of the following conditions are met:
- You are currently not licensed for public practice. If you are, you hold an “Other Regulated Services – Non-reviewable” licence;
- The preparation of tax returns will be provided in a volunteer capacity, where no fee is charged or accepted;
- The service will be provided through at an organized tax clinic being held in BC; and
- Tax return preparation will be for low-income taxpayers only, defined as:
- Individuals who have no dependents and who have a gross household income below $30,000, or
- Individuals with dependents, or couples, who have a gross household income below $50,000.
- You must not prepare tax returns for individuals who have:
- Self-employment income (except for T4A slips with income in box 48 under $1,000);
- Business or rental income and expenses;
- Interest income over $1,000;
- Capital gains or losses (including sale of principal residence);
- Employment expenses;
- Filed for bankruptcy or consumer protection, or
- Died in the taxation year.
To apply for this exemption, please access “Online Services” (top right) by entering your username and password. Once signed in, click on the “Other Services” tab, then select “Volunteer Tax Services” in the right hand column navigation bar.