UCW accounting instructor Tamara Krug is once again helping students file their taxes. For the third straight year, she has volunteered her time around her busy schedule to set up one-on-one workshops for University Canada West students.
She estimates that she will have helped about 100 students this year alone. “When I needed help, people helped me, so now it’s my turn to help others,” she said.
Soroush Mohajer, 27, is a UCW MBA student from Iran. This was the first time he had to file a tax return in Canada. He considered trying to do it on his own, but was advised by friends to find someone to help.
Then he heard about Tamara’s workshops.
“It was easy thanks to Tamara and a big help,” he said.
Tamara has been approved by the Canada Revenue Agency to help students and other low-income Canadians file tax returns electronically.
As such, she is entitled to help students file their taxes, as long as the student’s annual income is less than $30,000 per year or $50,000 per year if they are part of a couple or have a dependent.
She said there can be quite the learning curve for international students when it comes to filing taxes, especially when their home countries do not have similar systems in place.
Tamara tells students that they need to file their tax returns, even if they did not have any income as they may qualify for GST rebates and such.
Ali Niavarani, 24, is another MBA student originally from Iran, but he spent some time in the United Arab Emerites. He too was filing Canadian taxes for the first time.
“By word of mouth I learned that you need to file,” he said, adding that the school sent out information about filing his taxes that confirmed what he had heard.
Ali started looking into it when he learned about Tamara’s workshops.
“It’s convenient for me to go to Tamara,” he said.
Tamara also volunteers her time to help seniors and low-income Canadian file their taxes each year.
“If you’re interested and need help, then you are welcome,” she said.
WRITTEN BY BRADLEY FEHR