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Grant for hosting free tax clinics

Questions and answers about CVITP Grant

What if my organization’s reported number of returns filed does not match CRA’s count?

If your organization is interested in applying for the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) Grant, please keep a record of the number of federal income tax returns electronically submitted by your affiliated volunteers. Funding amounts are primarily based on the number of returns filed by host organizations. This number will be verified through the CVITP Organization Identification Number (COIN).

Your organization should make all efforts to report the number of returns filed by affiliated volunteers, as accurately as possible, in your grant application. It is expected that there will be some variance in the number of returns reported by organizations and those counted through the COIN. Discrepancies will only be questioned if the variance is significant.

Why do I need to track the number of returns filed? Isn’t that what the CVITP Organization Identification Number (COIN) is for?

The COIN is unable to track all returns submitted by your organization. For example, since the COIN will only be included in versions of the tax preparation software going forward, the COIN will be limited to only counting one additional year of prior returns each year starting in 2022. It is important for your organization to accurately track the total number of returns submitted during the eligible activity period and report that total in your grant application.

Will paper returns be counted by the CVITP Organization Identification Number (COIN)?

The COIN will count income tax returns that have been prepared using the CVITP-provided tax preparation software through either of the following methods:

  1. Electronically filed via EFILE
  2. Printed off with the QR code included on the first page and then mailed in

The COIN cannot count tax returns prepared by hand using paper forms.

Will the CVITP Organization Identification Number (COIN) count prior year returns?

The COIN will count 2020 tax returns and each year going forward.

In year one of the pilot, no prior year returns will be counted by the COIN. However, your organization may include electronically filed prior year returns in your self-reported number of returns filed. In year two of the pilot, the current year and the one year prior will be counted by the COIN, and so on.

What if my organization does not have an accurate record of the expenses we have paid?

If your organization is interested in applying for the CVITP Grant, please keep a record of all expenses that you have paid or will pay in the hosting and administering of your tax clinic(s). The CRA has the right to request proof of receipts for any reported expenses during the application assessment period.

Organizations are not required to report any expenses to be eligible for the grant. Not reporting expenses may impact your funding calculation, but it will not make your organization ineligible for funding.

Can I save and complete my online grant application at a later time?

No. If you leave the online application page, you will not be able to return to it at a later date and continue. You will have to start over.

All applicants will receive a copy of their completed application via email once it has been submitted. Organizations should keep a copy of the completed grant application for their records.

If your organization needs to resubmit the application to correct an error in your original grant submission, you will need to fill out the online application again. The CRA will use the date of your most recent submission as the official date of receipt; some exceptions may apply.

What is the eligible activity period?
  • The eligible activity period for the 2021 CVITP Grant is from the first day of filing in February 2021 to May 31, 2021.
  • The eligible activity period for the 2022 CVITP Grant is from June 1, 2021 to May 31, 2022.
  • The eligible activity period for the 2023 CVITP Grant is from June 1, 2022 to May 31, 2023.
What are escalators and how do they affect my funding?

Escalators are activities, options and demographics that are being highlighted by the grant. Organizations that satisfy any of the escalators will receive an increase in funding.

Escalators are subject to change annually as governmental and/or program priorities change and community needs shift. The annual escalators for a grant period will be announced at the beginning of each new grant period. Organizations are not required to indicate anywhere in their application if they have met any of the annual escalators. The CVITP will review your organization’s profile to assess which escalators have been met.

When will the grant funding be paid?

Once a funding amount has been determined, a grant funding agreement will be sent to the organization. Successful applicants should expect to receive a grant funding agreement between August and September. Once a completed grant funding agreement is returned to the CRA, the process of paying the funds will begin. Organizations should expect to receive funding via direct deposit between September and October.

The grant requires a minimum of two people per organization. Do both individuals need to be registered volunteers?

No, both individuals associated to the organization do not need to register as volunteers for the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program, or Income Tax Assistance – Volunteer Program in Quebec.

The organizations must have affiliated volunteer(s) who will be filing returns. It is suggested to list two people under the organization’s contact information as primary and secondary contacts during the organization program registration.

Will I be able to make changes to my CVITP Grant application after I submit it?

No, it is not possible to make changes to your CVITP Grant application after you submit it.

However, you may re-apply for the grant if you want to provide new or updated information. You can re-apply only within the grant application period of May 1 to June 30.

To re-apply, just click on the “Apply” button on How to apply and proceed as directed. The button will be available during the application period. Re-submitting your application will override any data from your previous application. You can re-apply as many times as you wish.

For the grant’s first year (2021), the CRA will take into consideration the date of the original grant application when it reviews applications on a first-come, first-served basis. It is not possible to re-apply for the CVITP Grant after the grant application period.

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