05 Apr 2013

Many of our rural communities in Alberta are protected by volunteer firefighting forces.

Without the bravery and dedication of our volunteer firefighters, our friends in outlying areas would have their lives and property at risk.

So to them, we give thanks.

And the federal government gives them a tip of the hat in a financial way.

Introduced for the 2011 tax year, the Volunteer Firefighters Tax Creditoffers a 15 per cent non-refundable tax credit based on an amount of $3,000. That can translate into a tax savings of up to $450.

VIDEO: Canada Revenue Agency ad on the Volunteer Firefighters Tax Credit

To be eligible for the tax credit, a volunteer firefighter must perform 200 hours of volunteer firefighting services in a single taxation year for one or more fire departments.

Those 200 hours can include:

  • responding to and being on call for firefighting and related emergency calls
  • attending meetings held by the fire department
  • participating in required training related to the prevention or suppression of fire
  • secondary services, such as vehicle and equipment maintenance of vehicles and the delivery of educational sessions

I get an honorarium

Some firefighters receive small payment in recognition of their services. You can choose between applying for the Volunteer Firefighters Tax Credit and continuing to use the existing tax exemption of up to $1,000 for honoraria.

How do I get the credit?

To claim the volunteer firefighters amount, add the amounts shown in boxes 87 and 14 of your T-4 slips and enter the total on Line 101 of your T-1 income tax return. Then enter $3,000 on Line 362.

You don’t have to file any additional documents but it is a good idea to keep track of your hours in case you get audited and need proof that you qualify for the credit.

Can you help?

We sure can. Contact one of our tax specialists and we can help you wade through the tax benefits and credits available to Canadians.

Fill out our contact form or give A1 Accounting a call at 403-226-8297.