The federal government is warning that seniors who haven’t filed their income taxes are at risk of losing their GIS payments for next year, putting them at serious financial risk.
Many low income seniors face obstacles to filing their taxes like lack of access to technology, transportation limitations in rural areas and lack of support from others in the community who could help them file.
Given that, in the recent Speech from the Throne, the federal government announced their intention to launch a free automatic filing system (which would effectively prevent loss of benefits in the case of failure to file taxes) the change in tone with this message is disappointing.
“Low income seniors rely on their GIS payments for the basic necessities to get by,” says Bill VanGorder, C.A.R.P.’s Chief Policy Officer. “One missed payment can mean the difference between buying groceries or going hungry. It’s not dramatic to say that seniors who fall through the cracks here are in real danger.”
C.A.R.P. maintains that no one should lose their life-sustaining benefits as a result of bureaucratic or circumstantial roadblocks which are, more often than not, out of their control.
If you know someone on the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), reach out and ask if they’ve filed their taxes for this year. If not, offer to help them do so.
The deadline (which is usually in April), was extended to this month and payments would be stopped on Jan 1, 2021 for anyone who didn’t file.