Students file in to Cambrian for tax help from peers
Tax filing clinic at Sudbury's Cambrian college is a teaching model that offers free service to students
Second-year business accounting undergrads at Cambrian College in Sudbury are getting some first-hand experience filing taxes as they help out at an annual tax clinic for low income students.
Business accounting student Mallory Gunn said she's learning more than she ever would in a class lecture.
"You get to go through it and see what these mean, like employment income … and all these employment benefits and things like that," she said. "You actually get to physically see [it in people’s files]."
Cambrian international student Amy Wu appreciated the help as she found it hard to navigate the Canadian tax return system on her own.
"The most challenging is the Canadian regulations," she said.
"We don't know what kind of stuff we need to claim for the taxes."
In the past, Wu has paid someone to file her taxes but, through the clinic, she can get it done for free.
Clinic co-ordinator Kayla Levesque said the nature of Cambrian's tax clinic makes it more approachable for students.
"International students that have never done this before, they're really insecure and don't know what to report.," Levesque said.
"So they come in with a lot of questions to make sure everything's done in accordance with Canada Revenue Agency."
Another reason the tax clinic is popular is because students like dealing with fellow students.
"By having students work together, they can socialize more and they realize that it's not just something that older people with designations do," Levesque said.
"Once you have the knowledge, you can complete the tax returns whether you're 18, 19, [or] 20."
Levesque said she expects the 35 business accounting students will help more than 100 people file tax returns this year — a number that’s risen substantially since last year.
Because of the increased demand — and for the first time in its more than 15-year history — the clinic has had to open for three nights.