Tax clinic to help students to help students

Eligible students can have taxes filed by Canadian Revenue Agency-approved volunteers

As intercession week fades and exams approach, many students’ nerves will begin to fray. When you suddenly add filing income taxes to the mix, often for the first time in a student’s life, the spring workload can seem overwhelming.

If you’re a George Brown College (GBC) student, however, you may be in luck. The Student Association (SA), which funds The Dialog, is hosting a free tax clinic for a third consecutive year.

The tax clinic, which is currently accepting applications on a first-come-first-serve basis, will be operating for two weeks from March 13 to 24, with forty volunteers working hard to put an anticipated 180-plus students on firm financial footing.

And you can rest assured that your taxes are being handled professionally, even if you don’t pay a cent for their services.

“Volunteers are approved by the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency),” said Ronnie Cruz, SA community services coordinator. “Before they’re accepted as an income tax volunteer they have to go through a long and tough screening process.”

Most volunteers are fellow GBC business students, Cruz added, gaining valuable industry experience while also doing good for their classmates.

She also cautioned that not all students will be eligible to access the tax clinic’s services. To use the SA’s tax clinic, applicants must fall within certain income brackets specified by the CRA, and only simple returns will be processed, which means self-employed students or those who have declared bankruptcy, among others, might be out of luck.

If you aren’t eligible for the tax clinic, not all is lost.

“We have a list of alternative tax clinics available around the city that students can go to, they might be able to help out,” Cruz said, adding that they would still have to meet the CRA’s income threshold.

To book an appointment or for more information on income and other eligibility requirements and alternative tax clinics go to the Student Association’s website.

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Tax clinic to help students to help students