Opinions

Get your taxes done for free

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We all know the cliche that the only certain things in life are death and taxes. I'm pleased that the Students' Union is once again offering free tax preparation to all campus students, faculty and staff for the 2004 tax year. For some students, this service helps to alleviate at least some of the stress in your life at this time of year.

Our free tax preparation program is sponsored by the Students' Union under the umbrella of the Volunteer Services program (Volunteer Tax Program or VTP to use the acronym). We have also received generous financial donations from Deloitte, Collins Barrow, and KPMG in support of this service to students.

Like many programs, there is a qualifying catch. The VTP processes returns for individuals who have an annual income of under $35,000--if you make more than this you can probably afford to either pay someone to do your taxes or complete them yourself. There are several other restrictions that apply, so check out the details at www.su.ucalgary.ca.

The program is run by volunteers, who are trained by the Canada Revenue Agency, and you can choose to manually file a return or send it to the government by electronic filing which usually means quicker refunds.

This program runs from March 7th to April 14th, and returns will take an average of 14 days to complete from date of drop-off to pick-up. Due to the length of time it takes to process returns, we stop accepting filings on April 1, so we can wrap the program up in time.

There's a complete procedure in place to ensure accuracy of information, and the return will only be as accurate as the information submitted. Our web site also lists all the filing information you will need to have in hand before the return can be completed. Again, the web site has all the details.

The VTP is just one of many services and volunteer opportunities sponsored by the Students' Union. Post tax-season, why don't you check out the range of volunteering opportunities available on campus?

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