H&R Block's Returning Hope® Program Set to Surpass $2 million Back in The Pockets of Canadians in Need, In Partnership With 15 Shelters Across Canada
Filing taxes serves as a critical first step out of poverty
CALGARY, AB, March 16, 2023 /CNW/ - Starting Sunday, in its 7th year, H&R Block is kicking off the Returning Hope® program in partnership with 15 regional social serving agencies and non-profit organizations to provide free tax filing support to help low-income individuals, or those living in poverty, who may not otherwise be able to access vital government benefits. The week-long pro-bono tax clinics pair Canadians in need with a tax expert who can help them file, and most importantly, access credits and benefits they may be entitled to.
Many Canadians struggle to make ends meet, especially in challenging financial times. According to 2021 Census data, more than 8% of Canadians live in poverty. For those who are forced to rely on food banks and shelters, filing a tax return can be difficult because of barriers like not having a permanent address, bank account, government ID or access to a computer. Without filing taxes, these Canadians are missing out on access to essential federal and provincial government tax credits and programs, including the GST/HST credit, Employment Insurance, the Canada Child Benefit, disability tax credits, the Canada Workers Benefit, and many more. Additionally, Canadians must file a current tax return to apply for affordable housing.
"The Returning Hope program is about changing lives for the better," said Peter Bruno, President of H&R Block Canada. "Even for Canadians who have little to no income, filing taxes is important to access credits and benefits they may be enitled to throughout the course of the year. We've seen first-hand the difference the Returning Hope program can make in the lives of our community members. For some clients, they've used their tax refund to make significant life changes, including having the means to cover some core needs, or paying first and last month's rent on a new place to live. We're proud to be able to make a difference in the lives of our neighbours."
Since the inaugural Returning Hope® tax clinic in 2016, H&R Block has partnered with more than a dozen organizations across Canada to file 2,721 tax returns for those in need, and helped find more than
This year's program will run at non-profits and social serving agencies in 15 cities across Canada, including Street Haven in Toronto, Carnegie Community Centre in Vancouver, The Mustard Seed in Kamloops, The Mustard Seed in Medicine Hat, The Mustard Seed in Red Deer, The Mustard Seed in Calgary, The Mustard Seed in Edmonton, The Friendship Inn in Saskatoon, The Madison in Winnipeg, Inn From the Cold in Markham, The Ottawa Mission in Ottawa, St. Vincent Place in Sault Ste. Marie, The Benoit Labre Maison House in Montreal, Souls Harbour Rescue Mission in Halifax, and The Gathering Place in St. John's, from March 19-26.
Special thanks to Lenovo Canada for providing the Returning Hope® program with laptops to serve clients onsite at their social serving agencies. If your organization is interested in joining the Returning Hope® program, reach out to [email protected], or visit hrblock.ca for further information.
About H&R Block Canada
A trusted partner of Canadians for over 55 years, H&R Block Canada is Canada's tax leader. Serving more than 900 locations across Canada, H&R Block's team of Tax Experts use the latest in technological advances combined with real-world expertise to help people file taxes in office, remotely, via drop off or use do-it-yourself Tax Software. H&R Block Canada can support in the preparation of personal, small business, corporate, U.S., rental and estate taxes. H&R Block's comprehensive education program, Tax Academy, trains new experts and ensures our Tax Experts continually update their skills. Learn more at www.hrblock.ca or 1-800-HRBLOCK.
SOURCE H&R Block Canada Inc.