The taxman is knocking; Okanagan College students answer the call for help
Howard Alexander - News Editor
Okanagan College Accounting Club volunteers Alex Urbanovitch, left, and Jessica Belanger manning the free CVITP tax clinics on campus in Kelowna.
Image Credit: Contributed
March 20, 2016 - 1:30 PM
KELOWNA - A group of Okanagan College business students are volunteering to help take the stress out of filing for tax season by offering a series of free public weekday tax clinics until April 29.
The Okanagan College Accounting Club is hosting the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) guided Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) to help individuals with an income of less than $30,000 (or a family income of less than $40,000).
“This is the club’s sixth year running the program. There’s a definite need; last year we helped more than 400 community members,” says business student Alex Urbanovitch, who is also the Director of the College’s CVITP. “For the volunteers it’s a step towards gaining career training, and it gives the clients an opportunity to ask questions face-to-face to clarify their tax concerns and ensure they can get the most out of their returns.”
The 30 student volunteers have undergone the Canadian Income Tax I course and trained with a CRA-led webinar. They use the tax software UFile, which saves costs and is a catch-net preventing human error. As a volunteer service no documents or paperwork are kept – they are returned to the client or shredded. The computer files are password encrypted for additional security and privacy.
Urbanovitch adds that the service is valuable to fellow College students.
“Students who do not work may think they don’t need to file taxes, but there are great advantages to doing so, such as receiving GST credit. Filing taxes means a record is kept of your tuition expenses for credit, which can be carried over to future years when income is earned. Or the credit can be transferred to a family member to lower their taxes payable.”
Clinics are on a first-come, first-served basis, and are held in the Atrium of the Centre for Learning at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus. Clinics are scheduled:
· Mondays: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
· Tuesdays: 3 – 5 p.m.
· Wednesdays: 6 – 8 p.m.
· Thursdays: 3 – 5 p.m.
· Fridays: 9 – 11 a.m.
No clinics will be offered on Mar. 23, 25 or 28.
Individuals should bring with them their ID, Social Insurance Number, slips from employers, schools, or government (any T4-type slips, T2202A, or T5007), and any additional items they think should be included, such as receipts for medical, childcare, and bus passes.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016