26 September 2023

Free tax returns offered in UC clinic

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The University of Canberra (UC) has launched a free clinic to provide independent, confidential tax advice to members of the Canberra community and surrounding regional areas.

Law School Lecturer at the UC, Carole Grey said the Tax Clinic was being provided by the University’s students under the supervision of a registered tax agent.

Ms Grey, who is also Manager of the Tax Clinic, said the three-year initiative would go a long way towards assisting taxpayers who couldn’t otherwise obtain representation.

“The UC Tax Clinic will have a particular focus on small businesses and financially vulnerable taxpayers who have fallen behind with their tax affairs and are unable to afford or access the services of a tax agent,” Ms Grey said.

“These taxpayers may need help navigating our tax system because, for example, they lack financial literacy, are low-income earners, or come from a non-English-speaking background,” she said.

“The initiative is built on two pillars – engaging with the community through the provision of advice, guidance and assistance on tax matters and providing a real-life Work Integrated Learning experience for our students.”

Ms Grey said the Clinic, set to operate all year round, offered a wide range of services and support, including applying for a Tax File Number, Australian Business Number and GST registration; advice on taxpayer’s rights and obligations; and completing current and prior year tax returns and business activity statements (BAS).

She said the Clinic could also help with managing debts and disputes with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), and setting up payment plans.

“As the Clinic is currently operating online, appointments are available via online web conferencing and by phone,” Ms Grey said.

“The UC Tax Clinic is ideally placed to provide more personalised services to clients from Canberra and the surrounding regions, including those of a more complex nature,” she said.

Ms Grey said the Clinic’s assistance was available to eligible individuals, small businesses, not-for-profit organisations and charities who couldn’t access or afford professional advice from a tax agent.

The UC Tax Clinic website can be accessed at this PS News link.

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