Ridge Meadows Senior Society volunteers at this years seniors’ tax clinic. (Special to The News)

Ridge Meadows Senior Society volunteers at this years seniors’ tax clinic. (Special to The News)

Hundreds of seniors taxes filed, thanks to Ridge Meadows Senior Society volunteers

Five volunteers worked Wednesdays and Fridays in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

A handful of volunteers with the Ridge Meadows Senior Society filled out hundreds of tax returns for seniors in the community– helping people who may not have been able to do their taxes otherwise.

More than 365 tax returns were completed for free by five volunteers who worked every Wednesday and Friday at the RMSS Maple Ridge Seniors Centre and every Wednesday at the Pitt Meadows Seniors Centre.

“This accounts for almost $30,000 in the pockets of local seniors,” explained Maria Perretta, executive director of the Ridge Meadows Seniors Society.

Last year during the closure of the facilities because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the tax clinic volunteers knew seniors needed to submit their taxes in order to continue to take advantage of some of the benefits that they receive.

READ MORE: Federal Liberals make plea for seniors to file taxes as thousands at risk of losing benefits

So, they came up with a drive-by and walk-through tax clinic and processed a little more than 200 returns.

“We would not be the caring and successful organization we are without our volunteers,” said Perretta.

READ MORE: Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows seniors tax clinics offer drive-up drop-off service

“They are the busy hands in our facilities and our ambassadors in the community,” she added, noting most volunteers are themselves members of the society and have personal insight into the needs of other members in the 55 plus demographic.

But this group of volunteers, she noted, went above and beyond this tax season.

People eligible for the program must be 55-years and over with an income less than $35,000 for an individual or $45,000 for a couple and less than $1,000 in interest income.

The tax clinic will remain running, once a month by appointment, through the year with reduced hours for anyone who is filing late.

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