The deadline to file taxes is starting to creep up; it’s April 30, 2021. Unless you’re self-employed or have a spouse or a common-law partner who is self-employed, then the deadline to file your taxes is June 15, 2021.
The Canada Revenue Agency has a directory of community organizations hosting free tax clinics. Some clinics that are currently operating may complete and file taxes for free, by videoconference or by phone. To find a clinic in your community, check the directory, which is updated regularly. Before visiting a clinic, call to learn about any COVID-related restrictions or protocols.
Please note: many clinics that have provided services in the past may have been cancelled or postponed due to concerns surrounding COVID-19.
You may be able to claim medical expenses on your tax return. To help you understand what is eligible, Canada Revenue Agency has an online list of items. The list is in alphabetical order and starts with air conditioners and ends with wigs. It captures various items, including bathroom aids, prescription drugs, orthopedics, closed captioning decoders, and braille tools. The list indicates if an item is an eligible expense and if you require a prescription, certification in writing or a T2201 form to claim on your taxes.
Resources for Seniors
Both the federal and provincial governments have income support programs for seniors.
The federal government runs the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement programs.
- the Canada Pension Plan
- Old Age Security
- Guaranteed Income Supplement
The provincial government runs programs for low-income seniors to access medical services and supplies, transportation and housing. It also contains legal information on protecting yourself and finances.
- MSP and Fair PharmaCare programs for low-income seniors
- Subsidies for housing and transportation
- Legal information on protecting yourself and your finances
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What income supports am I entitled to?
A. The main income support programs are the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement. These are run by the federal government. For information on these programs, including whether you are eligible, visit the Canada Benefits website.
The B.C. government also offers the Seniors’ Supplement program for low-income residents who receive Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement, or federal Allowances.
Q. Are there programs to help me with medical costs?
A. There are provincial programs that help pay for Medical Services Plan premiums as well as prescription drugs and medical supplies. See the Health Care section of this website for more information.
Q. Are there programs to help me with housing costs?
A. The provincial government has programs that provide financial assistance for a number of housing issues, including:
- rent subsidies (Shelter Aid for Elderly Residents – SAFER)
- property tax deferral
- modifications to your home (Home Adaptations for Independence – HAFI)
See the Housing section of this website for more information.
Q. Are there programs to help me with transportation costs?
A. There are provincial programs that provide financial assistance for:
- public transit (BC Bus Pass Program)
- transportation to medical appointments
- taxi travel
- BC Ferries
See the Transportation section of this website for more information.