By Winston Woo, Markham Chinese Baptist Church
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” – Matthew 25:40
Moving to a new country is hard enough. How do we welcome new immigrants to our communities and help them settle by navigating our complicated Federal and Provincial taxation systems? Our church has been helping with an outreach seminar on Ontario Taxes & Benefits. Markham Chinese Baptist Church is not alone in seeing an influx of new-to-Canada individuals and families visit our church. We know of other CBOQ churches that have ESL classes or help with resume writing.
At this seminar, we provide an overview of the personal income tax structure and basic calculation including common income inclusions, deductions, tax credits and how tax brackets operate. Information is provided on property tax, HST, provincial health coverage (OHIP) and the employer health tax. Benefits for eligible families include the childcare fee subsidy, provincial child benefit, childcare tax credit and dental care. We cover resources on benefits for students (e.g., OSAP), seniors (ODB, Trillium Benefit), people with disabilities, and low to mid income families. We also share the message that because Canada’s constitution and certain social policies are framed by Christian influences, many programs exist to help the poor and needy, those who are vulnerable and marginalized.
For churches that are interested in the seminar, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for the presentation.
We all have unique God given gifts or abilities that can be used to advance God’s kingdom through serving others and our communities. My expertise is in tax and financial planning, plus pensions. I felt God calling me to share what I have learned within the Baptist family, and for outreach to newcomers. This is just one way God helps us care for His people – showing our love for Him and relationship with Him.
What is your gift and how is God calling you to serve others with the experience and knowledge given by Him? What acts of kindness can you do today to show God’s love for others? Gracious God, please help us to show your love and care through our actions.