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Tax Clinics help those most in need

Unrepresented taxpayers and small business operators can access free advice and assistance on a range of taxation matters through the University of Tasmania’s Tax Clinics.

The Clinics help people who do not have a tax agent by providing free advice on a range of tax queries including help on how to complete a tax return, how to respond to a notice from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) and what rights individuals have if they are dissatisfied with an assessment.

Clinics are based in Hobart and Launceston with advice provided by students from the University’s School of Business and Economics, under the supervision of experienced tax practitioners.

“For many in the community, understanding tax law and being confident in lodging a tax return can be quite stressful,” School of Business and Economics’ Senior Lecturer Taxation Dr John McLaren said.

“It can be especially stressful if people don’t have representation.

“The student-run clinics can help assist in not only completing a tax return, but also applying for remissions of penalties or negotiating a payment plan with the ATO.

“The clinics can also provide professional advice on any ongoing issues individuals may have with the ATO.”

The clinics are also open to small business operators who require taxation advice and seek to gain a better understanding of taxation law to help improve their operations.

“Small businesses have to be extremely vigilant when it comes to taxation matters, so understanding their tax obligations and ensuring they comply with any changes to the law is crucial to protecting their operations,” Dr McLaren said.

“The clinics provide invaluable practical experience for our students who will be working alongside taxation professionals in delivering advice to individuals and small businesses.”

The University of Tasmania is one of 10 universities across Australia participating in the program this year, which is being funded by the Federal Government.

The Hobart Tax Clinic is open 9am–5pm Monday to Friday and the Launceston Tax Clinic is open by appointment. Both clinics will be closed for an extended Christmas break 15 December to 15 January.

For more information, go to utas.edu.au/tax-clinic. To make an appointment, email Tax.Clinic@utas.edu.au or phone (03) 6226 6118.

Published on: 31 Oct 2019 2:14pm