Tax season is upon us and the Brock University Chinese Students’ and Scholars Association (BUCSSA) wants to help.
Every Saturday until April 6, the clinic will run from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. in the Global Commons above the International Centre. With the national deadline to file your taxes approaching (April 30), this clinic will provide students with help filing taxes while offering the volunteers experience running a tax clinic.
Specific documents are required to file your taxes. While this may vary by case, students are most commonly required to provide the following: SIN number, information slips (T4s, T4RSP, or T4RIF), receipts for taxable expenses (union dues, tuition fees, medical expenses, charitable/political donations, rent paid or public transit passes) and any additional income such as scholarships or bursaries. A comprehensive list can be located on the Canada Revenue Agency’s website.
BUCSSA is working with Brock International to offer this clinic to help students. Not only is it meant to provide services for students, but BUCSSA members gain hands-on experience in accounting, which offers career-relevant skills for the many volunteers in the accounting program.
“Hosting a tax clinic has important meaning for us both on students’ career development, and also the contribution to the community that we live in. To know how to provide tax filing services, it’s the first step of becoming a professional accountant or community contributor,” said Jack Xu, a member of BUCSSA. “15 volunteers are a team, and they can gain strong teamwork skills by working with others and communicating with the students they [provide with] services.”
The team has emphasized that they have many hands on deck, so efficiency is not a concern.
“Our volunteer team are all Brock students, but we welcome anyone with interests in [the]Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) to join us to help other students on tax returns,” said Xu.
While someone might consider filing income tax an essential service, advertisement for the tax clinic has not always been easy for the team.
“The challenges that we are facing is how to get more students to know about this event through social media and website promotion, and carrying necessary documents and files needed for providing tax filing service to the location in the International building, and help the event running smoothly,” said Xu.
BUCSSA is gaining valuable experience by hosting this free tax clinic but ultimately they are doing it for the greater Brock community.
“The best part of planning this event is that we can help volunteers gain experience from providing such service to the community,” said Xu.
For anyone interested in interacting further with the BUCSSA, they will be hosting Sports Night on March 15 in Ian Beddis Gym between 5:00 p.m. — 9:00 p.m, playing games such as basketball, badminton and dodgeball.