We’ve all heard the saying: “There are only two things certain in life, death and taxes”, and the SCSU’s Tax Clinic was created mainly to help students deal with one of those things.
Initiated in 2006, in collaboration with the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP), the Tax Clinic is a free walk-in service that helps UTSC students complete their income tax and benefit returns. The program operates alongside 50 student volunteer staff as well as sponsors, which include the CPA (Chartered Professional Accountants) and Meridian Credit Union
The clinic is one that facilitates an environment for students to learn teamwork, communication, and of course, tax filing. The clinic provides a “high standard of accurate and efficient tax filing services.” They also aim to educate tax filers on the “tax filing process, giving students the knowledge and confidence” that will prepare them for the future.
“Why file taxes?”, you may be ask. Because the government says so. Seriously. Filing taxes is legislated by the federal government through the Canadian Revenue Agency. Essentially it is is a self-assessment system that helps the government find out about individuals annual income, as well as help people claim refunds and claim GST/HST credit.
Although this service is available for all UTSC students, the tax clinic has mentioned that they are able to assist personal tax returns for students with an annual income of less than $30,000. The downside to this service is that they have mentioned that the service is not available to assist students with personal businesses or rental income that they may be collecting and expenses, as well as capital gains or losses, including investments.
With the tax clinic, Canada Revenue Agency will review the information you’ve submitted, and will confirm that all calculations are done correctly. The tax return will take up to four to six weeks to process, and a notice of assessment will be sent; it’s advised you keep it for your record.
This service is a necessity, however most students on campus are not aware of it. In response, there have been more posters and advertisements spread throughout the campus to spread the word.
Before heading to the office, however, you must bring some personal information with you:
- Your U of T card (or T-Card)
- Passport (a requirement for international students at UTSC)
- Individual Tax Number (ITN) letter, or a Social Insurance Number (SIN) card
- Direct Deposit Information or VOID Cheque
- Canadian mailing address
One benefit of filing taxes is that even if you don’t have a job or income, you can still file and be eligible to receive money for refund or money credit. In other words, go down to the SCSU Tax Clinic and take advantage of the opportunity.