The BC government is providing $1.14-million for Disability Alliance BC to help expand its Tax AID program. The initiative will be expanding to Prince George, Kelowna, and Victoria.

Tax AID DABC provides free, individual help with tax returns all year long. It also allows for a number of provincial and federal tax credits to be claimed retroactively.

“Twenty thousand people with disabilities fail to file their income taxes each year,” said Jane Dyson, executive director, DABC in a statement.

“This means they lose out on refunds and income-tested benefits, which could improve their finances. Now, with government’s support, we can help a lot more people unlock the advantages that come with filing annual tax returns.”

The Vancouver-based program has been contracted with Active Support Against Poverty in PG based on its experience offering simple tax services to people living on low incomes.

“We hope that people will hear about this program and take advantage of the services that are available,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction in a statement.

“Over the last three years, Tax AID DABC has helped 650 people recover $1.5 million in tax credits. It’s a good program, and I’m glad that we could help bring this service to more people in our province.”

Tax AID specializes in helping people who have not filed returns for a number of years. Filing a tax return is also the first step for persons with disabilities towards accessing the Registered Disability Savings Plan.

“We are thrilled we can now offer Tax AID DABC for people receiving disability benefits in our community. They can use every dollar, and we will work hard to help them get their refunds and tax credits,” said ASAP Executive Director Audrey Schwartz in a statement.

DABC first introduced Tax AID in 2015. To qualify for the program, people must be receiving the provincial persons with disabilities benefit or the persons with persistent multiple barriers to employment benefit.