The volunteer firefighter’s amount (VFA) or the search and rescue volunteer’s amount (SRVA) is available to volunteer firefighters or search and rescue volunteers who have completed at least 200 hours of eligible services in the year. Eligible services include:
- Responding to and being on call for firefighting or search and rescue emergency calls
- Attending meetings held by the fire department or a search and rescue organization
- Participating in required training related to preventing or suppressing fires or search and rescue work
You can claim an amount of $3,000 on your return for either the VFA or SRVA; not both. However, if you volunteered as both a firefighter and search and rescue worker, you can combine the hours to reach the 200 hours needed to claim either amount.
If, at any time during the year, you provided services to the fire department or the search and rescue organization for which you were paid, you can’t include those hours to meet your 200-hour threshold.
Tax tip: As a volunteer firefighter or search and rescue volunteer, you might be eligible to claim a $1,000 tax exemption on your income. If you choose to claim this income exemption, you can’t claim the VFA or SRVA. Your income exemption amount can be found in box 87 of your T4 slip (or box L-2 of your RL-1 slip, if you’re a resident of Québec). Click this link for more information on the income exemption for Emergency Services Volunteers.
If you qualify for the federal VFA or the SRVA amount, you might also be eligible for an additional provincial amount if you’re a resident of British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, or Québec at the end of the year.
Note: Even if you had income from a source within any of these provinces, you can’t claim this tax credit unless you were a resident as of December 31st.
Click the links below for more information on your provincial tax credit for volunteer firefighters and search and rescue volunteers:
- British Columbia volunteer firefighters and search and rescue volunteers tax credit
- Manitoba volunteer firefighter and search & rescue tax credits
- Newfoundland and Labrador volunteer firefighters’ amount
- Nova Scotia volunteer firefighters and ground search & rescue tax credit
- Nunavut firefighters’ tax credit
- Prince Edward Island volunteer firefighter tax credit
- Québec volunteer firefighters and search and rescue volunteers