Volunteer Tax Credit Incentives

Volunteer work can make you feel really good. You have contributed your part to make the world a better place even by a little bit. In Canada, doing good can also get you great tax deductions. The Canadian government rewards citizens who are generous and kind enough to help out those who are less fortunate than them. If you are a Canadian who makes charitable donation or volunteers, the tax law makes you eligible for deductions and credit – https://www.lifeoncredit.ca/

Volunteering in Canada

Canada recognizes volunteering as a “fundamental building block of civil society”. Canadians are big donors of time and money. The country has the biggest volunteer sector in the world, second only to the Netherlands. In 2015, a Caring Canadians, Involved Canadians survey found that close to half of Canadians over the age of 15 volunteered for a cause on some level.

Canada also has a large full-time volunteer sector (meaning full-time employees working at nonprofits, charities, and the like).  The National Survey on Nonprofit and Voluntary Organizations 2003 showed that Canadian nonprofits clock in over 2 billion volunteer hours and create close to a million full-time jobs. The volunteering sector in the country generates over $110 billion in revenue, which amounts to an amazing 7 percent of the national GDP.

This level of kindheartedness is driven largely by Canadian values of helping others, and also tax incentives offered by the government.

Tax Deductions and Charitable Donations

Do you want to volunteer with the United Way on Random Acts of Kindness Day? You can then write off the amount you donated or time you dedicated from your tax filings. Canada is actually one of the few governments in the world to reward citizens for being do gooders. The Canada Revenue Agency has a number of clauses that offer tax incentives for volunteering: Donations and gifts as stated in Line 349, Line 362 volunteer firefighters’ amount, the search and rescue volunteer tax credit established by the 2014 budget, and incentives offered for gifting publicly traded shares and stock options.

The most common way for Canadians to get tax credit is by donating to charities. When you volunteer with a cause you believe in, your provincial government and the federal government will give you non-refundable tax credit – https://www.lifeoncredit.ca/cashback-vs-rewards-credit-cards/ When you donate money to a registered charity like the aforementioned United Way, you become eligible for a tax deduction. You can claim this deduction under Schedule 9 donations and gifts clause.

When you volunteer, you are not donating money but time. Like donations, volunteerism is also eligible for tax credit. There are different ways that Canadians can volunteer. For starters, you can volunteer as a firefighter in poor or rural communities without proper fire stations. If you do so, you could claim as much as $3,000 in tax credit. However, you would have to volunteer for a minimum of 200 hours per year with a single fire department.

In 2014, the Canadian Parliament made it possible to obtain tax credit for volunteering in search and rescue operations. You can claim up to $3,000 in tax credit for volunteering with water or ground rescue missions. Three thousand dollars in tax credit translates close to $450 saved in taxes. You need to have a taxable income to qualify for this non-refundable tax credit.

Credit Cards and Tax Credit

There are several ways you can put the tax credit you receive for volunteer work to good use. You can donate it to charity, save the money for retirement, or use it towards paying off credit card debt. Tax credit is an excellent way to pay down credit card bills. Some credit cards, like BMO Canadian Volunteer Fire Services Association MasterCard, even support non-profit volunteerism. You can pay your taxes with your credit card and arrange the tax credit to be directly deposited to your account.

Obviously, the aim of volunteerism is helping out others. If you are an avid do gooder, don’t forget to claim your tax credit for your efforts.

Volunteer Jobs

Volunteering is a great way to help others and gain valuable experience at the same time. Employees gain opportunities for personal growth and improve their relationship, interpersonal, and social skills.voluntee-1526

Benefits of Volunteering

Volunteering – http://volunteer.ca/ helps people connect to others and is a good opportunity to make contacts and friends. Shared activities strengthen relationships, broaden your circle and support network, and expose you to plenty of fulfilling, satisfying, and fun activities. There are more benefits to having a volunteer job, one being that helping others provides a sense of purpose and direction. It also helps boost self-esteem and self-confidence and improves life satisfaction. What is more, this is a good way to keep yourself physically healthy and fight depression and anxiety, whatever your situation is. Social isolation is one of the main risk factors for mental disorders and depression. Working with animals, for example, helps fight anxiety and stress and improves mood. Certain projects and volunteering jobs can help you stay healthy, including physical activities involved in green and environmental projects.

Volunteering and Financial Discipline

Volunteering is also a good way to learn how to be more responsible and stay away from bad financial habits such as impulse buying, overspending, splurging, and borrowing on credit cards. Maxed out credit cards and late and missed payments result in poor credit and limit the pool of available borrowing solutions because you are considered a risky borrower. The same goes for bad credit cards – https://www.lifeoncredit.ca/top-6-credit-cards-for-bad-credit-in-canada/ that go with very high charges and rates and make it very expensive to borrow and repay. When interest charges accumulate, you may find yourself in a situation that makes it more and more difficult to keep up with payments. Stay away from payday lenders that charge high interest rates over a short period unless you have urgent problems to solve. This is a last resort if you have to pay medical bills, car loans – https://www.lifeoncredit.ca/bad-credit-car-loans/ or utilities and have exhausted all other options.

There are other benefits to volunteering, apart from better self-discipline and money management skills. This is one way to gain job skills and advance your career. Volunteers benefit from the fact that they can learn valuable skills such as organization, task and time management, problem solving, communication, teamwork, and others. Many organizations and institutions also offer extensive training to build on your existing skills. Volunteers learn new skills and competencies that benefit local communities. Another benefit is that you are offered the chance to try new career paths without the long-term commitment that full-time work requires. Some volunteer jobs also expose young persons to internships and professional associations and organizations that help advance their career.

Volunteering as a Way of Life

Volunteering offers plenty of benefits on personal level and for society as a whole. Volunteers help strengthen local communities and save valuable resources.

On Personal Level

There are plenty of benefits to consider, and one is that volunteers learn a lot about local communities, the government and different agencies, and themselves. They have the opportunity to discover hidden talents and learn new skills and competencies. Volunteers who work for non-profit agencies, associations, and organizations learn more about the operation, functions, and responsibilities of different government agencies and other bodies. They also learn more about local resources and communities and are better prepared to solve community needs and problems. Volunteer work also gives a sense of achievement and motivation because you give your energy, skills, and time freely. In addition to these benefits, there is more – volunteer jobs encourage financial and civic responsibility. You help improve the life of people in local communities and show your support for marginalized and vulnerable groups that need help. You help make a difference by investing in people and especially young people. When it comes to work, this is a great way to boost your career options, and research shows that over 70 percent of businesses are willing to hire candidates who have volunteering experience. The reason is that for many employers, it is a good way to build on and develop essential skills. Finally, this is a great way to meet people from all walks of life and backgrounds. This makes volunteering a good networking opportunity.

Local Communities and Society

As a volunteer, you help improve infrastructure in local communities (i.e. park, beach, and garden cleanups) and support youth by tutoring, mentoring, and participating in after-school programs and courses. Volunteers also help improve schools and support families at eldercare and daycare. This is also a way to save on resources as the money saved can go toward local improvements. Estimates show that volunteer’s work saves about $15 per hour.

Where to volunteer:

Thunder Bay – http://www.thunderbay.ca/Living/Volunteering.htm

Province of Ontario – http://www.ovcn.ca/