A local man received a provincial award for volunteering to file seniors’ tax returns for decades.
Local accountant and former city employee Bill Wulff was presented with the Alberta Seniors and Housing Minister’s Senior Service Award on October 1 at the Government House in Edmonton. Wulff says receiving the award was an honour and the evening had him sharing a table with minister of senior and housing, her press secretary, and the lieutenant governor.
“It was a privilege to be in the building. Of course the 150-year history of Alberta is in that building – you can almost smell the history,” Wulff said.
Wulff began filing tax returns for seniors in 1980 before working for the then-city and hasn’t stopped. Since his retirement in 2010, he started “really getting into it” and in the last year he has filled over 500 returns for seniors, free of charge.
Wulff views the work as important for seniors who may face hurdles in getting their taxes done and acquiring the all-so-important seniors benefits many need.
“Their benefits do not come up with the cost of living. You never get a raise to match and that just makes it worse and worse. If you don’t file you don't get your guaranteed income supplement and you don't get any Alberta subsidies,” he says.
He doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon. Now in partial retirement, Wulff continues to keep a few paying-clients on but spends many hours each year volunteering his weekdays in his home office helping seniors file tax returns.
“It’s stuff I still enjoy. I don’t want to sit there and watch CNN or soap operas all day,” he laughs. “It’s something to keep my brain exercised.”