by Sigalit Hoffman
A record number of accountancy students are helping fellow Concordians
get through the tax season.
We have twice as many people as last year, said Fatima Qureshi,
co-coordinator of the John Molson Accounting Society (JMAS) tax clinic.
This year, 40 second- and third-year accounting students have volunteered
to collect tax receipts from Concordia students and the general public.
They are offering to file students tax returns for a fee of $15
to $20, and plan to donate the proceeds to the Mix 96 Kids Fund.
It feels really good, said Qureshi, who is coordinating the
project with second-year accounting student Anisur Talukder. You
know what youre doing is right.
The volunteers also hope the
clinic will be a learning experience.
Weve got lot of knowledge we need some practical experience,
said third-year accounting student Ann Wu. Wu said there are other organizations
that offer accounting students the opportunity to use their taxation knowledge,
but she preferred to volunteer at Concordia where she knew the proceeds
would be donated to needy children.
Qureshi said the Accounting Society is trying to make the service as accessible
to students as possible. The JMAS charges a fraction of the average $30
to $50 fee for tax services.
I got my taxes done at H & R Block. It was $54 $15 to
$20 is a deal, said Montreal resident Leigh Mackenzie.
Accounting students must have taken the first two tax courses before they
can volunteer with the tax clinic. Though Qureshi said it is relatively
easy to file taxes, it does requires a basic knowledge of taxation. Qureshi,
who has been filing her own taxes for the past three years, said students
taxes are usually easy to file, thanks to the small number of tax receipts.
People have an income and a tuition credit, thats the general
thing, she said. The JMASs job has been made even easier by
some software that does the computing.
Qureshi said volunteers dont only help students file taxes, they
also help soothe jangled nerves during a stressful tax season.
They dont know whats going to happen, she said.
They need someone to hold them up.
Students seemed grateful for the chance to get their taxes filed and to
give to charity. One of them was first-year student Allison Whately, who
had been handing over the job to someone who puts up signs in the
Last year, the clinic filed taxes for almost 120 students. Volunteers
will be available at a booth on the mezzanine of the Henry F. Hall Building
from 10 to 5 Monday to Friday until the end of March. For more information,
contact the John Molson Accounting Society at 848-2855.