FF tax credit -|-|- from the Chief’s Desk

1. What is the new Volunteer Firefighter Tax Credit (VFTC)?

For 2011 and subsequent years, the budget proposes a new non-refundable tax credit,
based on an amount of $3,000, for certain volunteer firefighters.

2. I am a volunteer firefighter. Do I qualify for the VFTC?

To qualify for the new credit, you must meet the following conditions:

 *   you must be a volunteer firefighter in the year; and
 *   you must complete a minimum of 200 hours of eligible volunteer firefighter
services with one or more fire departments in the year.

However, if you were also engaged by the same fire department (other than as a
volunteer) for the same or similar duties, you cannot include any hours related to
that department in determining if you have met the 200-hour threshold.

A certification from a fire chief or delegated official within the fire department
may be requested to verify the number of hours of eligible volunteer firefighter
services you performed for the department.

3. What are eligible volunteer firefighter services?

Eligible services include:

 *   responding to and being on call for firefighting and related emergency calls as
a firefighter;
 *   attending meetings held by the fire department; and
 *   participating in required training related to the prevention or suppression of
fire.

4. I am currently a volunteer firefighter. Do my hours of service completed since
January 1, 2011 count towards the 200-hour threshold?

Yes.

5. How is the VFTC calculated?

The VFTC is calculated by multiplying the lowest personal income tax rate for the
year (15% in 2011) by $3,000. For 2011, the non-refundable credit will be $450.

6. I received a payment for my duties as a volunteer firefighter. Do I still get the
VFTC?

As a volunteer firefighter, you may be eligible for an income exemption of up to
$1,000 if you received a payment from a government, municipality, or other public
authority for carrying out volunteer firefighter duties. If you choose to claim this
exemption, you will not be eligible for the new VFTC.

7. I am eligible for a $1,000 exemption related to the payment I received for
carrying out volunteer firefighter duties. Is this exempt income reported on my T4
information slip?

For 2011 and subsequent years, the income exemption related to volunteer firefighter
duties will be identified on your T4 information slip.

8. How will I claim the VFTC?

Beginning with the 2011 personal income tax and benefit return, a new line will be
incorporated into the Schedule 1, Federal Tax to allow you to claim the credit.

9. Where can I get more information about this new tax credit?

The CRA is committed to providing taxpayers with up-to-date information. The CRA
encourages taxpayers to check its Web pages often. All new forms, policies, and
guidelines will be posted as they become available.

 

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