How to Benefit from the Volunteer Firefighters’ Tax Credit

The Volunteer Firefighters’ Tax Credit (VFTC) is a non-refundable tax credit offered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to recognize the vital services volunteer firefighters provide to their communities. If you’re a volunteer firefighter, understanding how to claim this credit can help reduce the amount of tax you owe, providing some financial recognition for your commitment and bravery. Here’s a guide on how to benefit from the VFTC.

Eligibility Criteria:

To qualify for the VFTC, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must have served as a volunteer firefighter for at least 200 hours in the tax year.
  • The services must have been provided to a fire department.

Qualifying Hours:

Qualifying hours include responding to and being on call for firefighting and related emergency calls as a volunteer, attending required training related to preventing or suppressing fire, and other activities as requested by the fire chief. The 200-hour threshold does not include time spent on non-emergency activities or fundraising.

Claiming the Credit:

The VFTC allows you to claim an amount of $3,000 on your income tax return, which translates to a tax credit of 15% (the lowest federal tax rate), resulting in up to $450 in tax savings.

How to Claim:

  • Documentation: While you do not need to submit any documentation when filing your tax return, it’s crucial to keep records in case the CRA requests verification of your volunteer hours. This can include letters from the fire department, training records, or logs of call responses.
  • Complete Your Tax Return: Claim the VFTC on Line 31220 of your T1 Income Tax and Benefit Return. You do not need to submit any forms to validate your claim initially, but having a detailed log or acknowledgment from your fire department can be helpful if your claim is reviewed.

Additional Notes:

  • If you also qualify for the Emergency Services Volunteer Tax Credit, you can only claim one of the two credits, not both.
  • The VFTC is non-refundable, meaning it can lower your tax owed to zero, but you will not receive a refund if the credit exceeds your tax liability.


The Volunteer Firefighters’ Tax Credit is a small token of appreciation for the significant contributions volunteer firefighters make to their communities. By taking advantage of this tax credit, you can receive some financial benefit as recognition for your selfless service. Ensure you keep detailed records of your volunteer hours and consult the CRA website or a tax professional for any updates or specific questions regarding your eligibility

Now what?

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