Minister of Seniors Deb Schulte speaks during a press conference on Parliament Hill during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, Thursday, June 4, 2020. The federal government says tens of thousands of seniors are at risk of losing benefits because they haven’t yet filed their taxes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Minister of Seniors Deb Schulte speaks during a press conference on Parliament Hill during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, Thursday, June 4, 2020. The federal government says tens of thousands of seniors are at risk of losing benefits because they haven’t yet filed their taxes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

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

Seniors Minister Deb Schulte says Service Canada has sent reminders to the 63,000 to file their returns

The federal government says tens of thousands of seniors are at risk of losing benefits because they haven’t yet filed their taxes.

The Liberals are making a public plea for them to submit their returns as soon as possible so payments of the guaranteed income supplement doesn’t get suspended come Jan. 1.

The government estimates that 63,000 seniors could see an interruption in benefit payments if they don’t file tax returns quickly.

The returns are how the government determines eligibility and the value of payments like the GIS, which goes to low-income seniors.

Without it, seniors receiving the income top-up will find the payment taps closed until they provide the needed information.

In 2017, some 105,000 seniors saw halts on their payments, and the figure has fallen in subsequent years to 75,000 in 2018 and 73,000 last year.

Normally, returns would have been due in April and the calculations made before the annual benefit calendar reset in July.

But due to the pandemic, the deadline for those seniors to file was extended to this month, and benefits continued uninterrupted for 214,000 GIS recipients until December.

Seniors Minister Deb Schulte says Service Canada has sent reminders to the 63,000 to file their returns, or at least provide the agency with their income information.

She also says the government is reaching out through seniors’ organizations and on social media.

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Seniorstaxes

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Medical staff at Bulkley Valley District Hospital urge everyone to continue to follow public health guidelines to combat the spread of coronavirus. (File photo)
COVID-19 and influenza update from Bulkley Valley medical staff

Local MDs urge vaccinations and mask wearing to combat virus duo

This photo of approximately 10 years ago shows Laureen Fabian, on the left, and daughter Caterina Andrews. Fabian went missing last October and her daughter is looking for answers. (Contributed photo)
Laureen Fabian’s disappearance remains a mystery

It’s been a year since she went missing

“We have to make a call out to address this now so our people don’t have to feel fearful,” said Tribal Chief Mina Holmes. (Carrier Sekani Tribal Council Facebook photo)
Carrier Sekani Tribal Council seeks Indigenous-led task force in northern B.C. hospitals

Request made in an open letter to federal minister Carolyn Bennett

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never before seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

Most Read