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Students helping students at tax time

April 12, 2023

Students helping students at tax time
Doing your taxes is never fun, and when you’re a student or newcomer to Canada, it can be even more of a challenge. In March, NorQuest students who needed to navigate a tax return for the first time got a helping hand thanks to their fellow NorQuest students. Students hosted a tax clinic to provide confidential and free assistance with tax returns, which was a win-win situation for everyone involved.
 
“The tax clinic is a very unique opportunity for our students to apply knowledge in a professional environment,” says Dr. Akram Abubaha, a NorQuest instructor and coordinator of this year’s event. “Our students developed their knowledge of professional tax software and people skills, which of course helps them get ready for today’s workforce. As well, it’s a great feeling to know that we are helping our students and the larger community.”
 
Demand for the tax clinic was high – almost 700 students and community members took advantage of the clinic, which was led by students and supported by NorQuest instructors, grads, and employees. The three week clinic assisted people with everything from simple tax returns to calculating GST credits, child tax benefits, and setting up new accounts with the Canadian Revenue Agency. Students also provided support to a significant number of clients who have foreign income due to recent immigration to Canada. For the students who were crunching the numbers, the clinic meant not only good professional experience, but a sense of community service.
 
Elvisa Kariqqi is a NorQuest alumni who volunteered for the tax clinic. “I had a wonderful experience,” she says. “I am grateful for the opportunity to give back to the community. NorQuest did so much for me when I was a student, and I am happy that I can pay it forward.”
 
“Nothing beats a smile and a thank you from people you helped or a student you coached,” says Dr. Abuhaba. “It’s a truly rewarding experience!”
 
Tax clinic by the numbers
  • 696 clients served
  • Total value of refunds to clients: $210,229.58
  • Total GST rebates: $424,928.24
  • Total Child Tax Benefits: $124,459.06
  • Total Climate Incentive benefit: $112,566.20
  • Total benefits to clients, including refunds: $872,183.08