Volunteer Firefighters’ amount and Search & Rescue Volunteers’ amount

You can claim $3,000 for the volunteer firefighters’ amount (VFA) or the search and rescue volunteers’ amount (SRVA), but not both, if you meet the following conditions:

  • you were a volunteer firefighter or a search and rescue volunteer during the year; and
  • you completed at least 200 hours of eligible volunteer firefighting services or eligible search and rescue volunteer services in the year.

Note

The hours volunteered for both search and rescue and firefighter activities can be combined to claim either the VFA or the SRVAYou cannot claim both.

However, if you provided services to the same organization, other than as a volunteer, for the same or similar duties, you cannot include any hours related to that organization in determining if you have met the 200-hour threshold.

Eligible services

Eligible volunteer firefighting services with a fire department 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 preventing or suppressing fire.

Eligible search and rescue volunteer services with an eligible search and rescue organization include:

  • responding to and being on call for search and rescue and related emergency calls as a search and rescue volunteer;
  • attending meeting held by the organization; and
  • participating in required training related to search and rescue services.

An eligible organization is a search and rescue organization that is a member of the Search and Rescue Volunteer Association of Canada, the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association, or the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, or whose status as a search and rescue organization is recognized by a provincial, municipal or public authority. Your search and rescue organization can tell you if it is eligible.

Tax Tip

As a volunteer firefighter or search and rescue volunteer, you may be eligible to claim a $1,000 exemption instead of the VFA or the SRVA. For more information, see Emergency services volunteers. If you choose to claim this income exemption, you will not be eligible for the volunteer firefighters’ amount or the search and rescue volunteers’ amount. The income exemption related to emergency services volunteers is shown in box 87 of your T4 slips.

Completing your tax return

If you claim the $3,000 volunteer firefighters’ amount or the search and rescue volunteers’ amount, add the amounts shown in boxes 87 and 14 of your T4 slipsand enter the result on line 101. Enter $3,000 on either line 362 or line 395 of Schedule 1.

If you are claiming the exemption, report only the amount shown in box 14 of your T4 slips on line 101.

Supporting documents

Filing electronically or filing a paper return

Do not send any documents. Keep them in case we ask to see them later.

We may ask you to provide certification from the fire department or the search and rescue organization to confirm the number of hours of eligible volunteer firefighting or search and rescue volunteer services you performed.

Line 101 – Emergency services volunteers

In 2016 you may have received a payment from a government, a municipality, or another public authority for your work as a volunteer ambulance technician, a firefighter, or a search, rescue, or other type of emergency worker.

The T4 slips issued by this authority will generally show only the taxable part of the payment, which is the part that is more than $1,000.

The exempt part of a payment is shown in box 87 of your T4 slips.

As an emergency services volunteer, you may qualify for the volunteer firefighters’ amount (VFA) or the search and rescue volunteers’ amount (SRVA). See lines 362 and 395.

If you are eligible for the $1,000 exemption and either the VFA or the SRVA, you must choose which one you would like to claim.

If you choose to claim the exemption, report only the amounts shown in box 14 of your T4 slips on line 101.

If the authority employed you (other than as a volunteer) for the same or similar duties or if you choose to claim the VFA or the SRVA, the full payment is taxable. You must add the amounts shown in boxes 87 and 14 of your T4 slips and report the result on line 101.

*** This information was taken from the Canada Revenue Agency Website.***

Volunteer Firefighter and Search & Rescue Tax Credits

Starting in 2015, Manitobans who perform at least 200 hours of combined volunteer firefighting and volunteer search and rescue services (ground, air, and marine) in a year are eligible to claim a 10.8% non-refundable tax credit on an amount of $3,000. The maximum annual benefit is $324.

For more information, please contact the Manitoba Tax Assistance Office.

*** This information was taken from the Government of Manitoba’s Website.***