Overcoming barriers to tax filing for people with low incomes – a recent research symposium

26 March 2019
Many people with low incomes experience barriers to tax filing that prevent them from accessing income benefits necessary for individuals and families to achieve financial stability. On February 7, 2019, Prosper Canada brought together 73 academic, government and community experts for a one-day symposium to discuss the latest research on barriers to tax filing and benefit take-up. The objectives of the symposium were to:  
 
  • Share research by academics, government and community organizations on barriers to tax filing faced by people on low incomes 
  • Showcase innovative tax assistance models that can encourage more low-income Canadians to tax file and access government benefits 
  • Identify areas for further research 
  • Explore opportunities for future coordinated action 
Representatives from 12 organizations provided insights on the types of barriers experienced at the individual, organizational and system levels, opportunities at the regional and national levels to boost tax filing, and current innovations to expand the reach and impact of tax filing and benefit supports.  
 
Through a prioritization exercise facilitated by Radya Cherkaoui, Senior Product Manager and Innovation Catalyst, Intuit Canada, attendees selected two barriers they felt could be addressed within the next year and would have the most impact if addressed – lack of resources and lack of national and regional coordination. The group worked together to brainstorm solutions to these specific barriers.  
 
Prosper Canada will be publishing a report synthesizing the discussions and shared priorities identified at the research symposium. We are grateful to the Intuit Financial Freedom Foundation for their support. 
 
All research symposium presentations, a list of relevant reports, and resources suggested by presenters and attendees are available on the Prosper Canada Learning Hub.

Visit our Facebook page to view photos from the day.