RyeSAC resurrects free tax clinic

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By Tim Cook

With mid-term exams and term papers bombarding students all at once, filing taxes is one thing many students don’t have time for.

But this year, RyeSAC is offering help — instituting a free tax clinic where students can have their taxes filed by volunteers.

“When I first heard of the idea of a tax clinic, right away I saw the potential. I wondered why it was not on the campus,” says Vladimir Vasilko, RyeSAC’s v.p. development and finance, who worked with the Business Students’ Association (BSA) to bring back the program.

Ryerson had a tax clinic until five years ago, but it was cancelled after supervising faculty members retired. The clinic, run as a pilot project this year, is costing RyeSAC about $4,000.

Vasilko expected about 25 students to file taxes, but when more than 60 applied, he was happily overwhelmed. He expects the clinic will be able to service nearly 400 students.

“It’s a good chance for business students to get some experience,” said BSA member Chris Stroud. “Many students are looking forward to it.”

The volunteers, mostly third- and fourth-year accounting students, were trained by Revenue Canada over reading week. Vasilko said the students were taught how to deal with tuition, bursaries, rental expenses and other areas of taxation that relate to students.

The seven-hour Revenue Canada course also covered dividend income and child support payments.

Vasilko said students shouldn’t be concerned about leaving their taxes in the hands of fellow students. RyeSAC will have two computers on hand to check every return for errors.

On top of that, the volunteer faculty supervisor, business professor and chartered personal accountant James Moore, is “more than qualified” to deal with any problems, Vasilko said.

The clinics will take place March 9, 10, 16 and 17. Appointments must be made in the RyeSAC office, Jorgenson Hall A62.

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