Business

Ontario accounting firms offering free tax returns to health care workers

Accountants in Ontario are offering to prepare tax returns for frontline healthcare workers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic free of charge.

Accounting group hopes to expand program to rest of Canada

Major accounting firms have volunteered to participate in the program, but they hope that smaller firms will take part too. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

Accountants in Ontario are offering to prepare tax returns for frontline healthcare workers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic free of charge.

The Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario organized the initiative as a way to remove one area of potential stress for healthcare workers, who probably don't want to think about taxes.

The program has support from major accounting firms and covers a wide range of workers dealing directly with COVID-19 including nurses, paramedics, cleaning staff, lab technicians and other healthcare professionals.

It will also cover the returns for spouses and dependent children, as benefits often need to be co-ordinated between family members.

So far the program is limited to Ontario, but the association's CEO says she has spoken with other associations in Canada in hopes of expanding it.

Major accounting firms including KPMG, Deloitte, Ernst and Young, BDO, PwC, Grant Thornton, MNP and others have volunteered but the association is also welcoming interest from smaller firms and its 95-thousand members.

Healthcare workers can sign up through the CPA Ontario site, and are asked to apply by May 15th so accountants have enough time to process all the requests.

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