Hudsonite honoured for helping low income earners complete tax returns
PHOTO COURTESY GOVERNMENT OF CANADA
On behalf of His Excellency David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, Louis Beauséjour, Assistant Comissioner of the Canada Revenue Agency and his aide present the Sovereign’s Medal to Martin Hofton at a recent ceremony in Rideau Hall in Ottawa.
In a recent ceremony, The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers was presented to long-time Hudsonite, Martin Hofton, in recognition of his, “significant, sustained, and unpaid” contribution to his community. A contribution that he has been making with the Canadian Volunteer Income Tax Programme (CVITP) that helps people on low income with simple tax situations complete their tax returns for over 15 years.
Said Hofton, who works through both The Community Aid Service in Dorval and Le Centre d’action bénévole l’Actuel in Vaudreuil-Dorion, “It came as a complete surprise when I got a letter from Rideau Hall informing me that I had been awarded this medal and I accept it on behalf of our great team of bilingual volunteers who, every year, complete over 650 tax returns for people from all over the region.”
Remembers Hofton, an avid golfer and a member of Whitlock Golf & Country Club, formerly on the board of the Hudson Historical Society, and co-founder with Terry Browitt of the Hudson Ramblers Association, “In the early days it was more difficult. We had to complete the two tax returns in an hour on paper forms and in the presence of the client, who would often want to carry on a conversation the whole while. Now it is much more structured.”
Added Hofton, “At l’Actuel, the clients are interviewed to get all their personal information and to check that they have all their slips, and these are then put in an envelope and taken home by the volunteers who prepare the declarations on a special version of U-File provided by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Each return is then double checked by another volunteer and transmitted electronically in the presence of the client.”
As to how long Hofton, who emigrated from England in 1967, intends to continue helping others with their tax returns?
“For as long as I can,” he told Your Local Journal. “I have had a good life with my wife, Denise, and our children and grandchildren here in Canada and particularly Hudson, and this is my way of thanking people for their kindness and helping others in our community with what can be complicated and confusing for many.”