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ACORN’s free income tax advice returns millions to local communities


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"The importance of Vancity’s role in this program’s success cannot be overstated. In the past 3 years many organizations have ceased their free tax programs, and we now have clients from all over the lower mainland. Without Vancity’s support I couldn’t fathom how we’d be able to help even a fraction of the people that we do, if any at all.”
– Scott Nun, BC Head Organizer,
ACORN Canada

If you have no access to the Internet, little experience of financial institutions and have never filed a Canadian tax return, you might find it difficult to work out what taxes you should be paying and what you’re owed. Or you might give up on the idea of filing a tax return altogether. Fortunately, since 2007 ACORN Canada has been helping people with their tax returns free of charge and Vancity has been right there with them every step of the way.

ACORN Canada’s Free Income Tax Sites (FITS) is a program designed to assist low-income families maximize their tax returns. In 2014, FITS provided free assistance on 3,608 tax returns and low-income families received an estimated $5.0 million in total tax credits, rebates and benefits.

The partnership with ACORN also allows FITS clients to benefit from Vancity’s award-winning Each One, Teach One program. The goal of the program is to strengthen financial literacy skills to improve the well-being, financial resilience and confidence of community members.

“It is one thing to get help with your tax return, but it’s quite another to get financial literacy support so you can make good choices about what to do with that money,” says Elisabeth Geller from Vancity’s Community Investment department. “The idea is to help these families become more financially self-reliant and resilient.”


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