Tax time approaches and HSF offers help to file

by | Mar 1, 2014 | Biz/Tech

Vick Karunakaran
Biz/Tech Reporter

There are few things as satisfying as a refund cheque from Canada Revenue Agency.

Every year a new generation approaches the tax filing process with emotions ranging from mild discomfort all the way to fear.

“It is very important for students to file (their taxes),” said Caroline Battista, Senior tax analyst at H&R Block, a leading tax service company.

Some students don’t file their taxes thinking they don’t have income, said Battista. Apart from tuition credit, students can apply for the GST/HST credit and even claim the cost of their public transit pass, she said.

Scholarships and bursaries are not taxable if you are eligible for the Tuition and Education Tax Credit, said Laura Goldhaber, HSF’s accounting coordinator.

In many instances, student loans allow the filer to claim the interest as a tax credit following graduation, Goldhaber said.

“I think, on average, doing taxes for the first time is extremely overwhelming,” said Goldhaber.

Students filing tax for the first time “are very confused about what they need to do, what type of forms they need to get,” she said.

HSF plans to help students file their tax by conducting a free tax clinic between March 24 and 28, she said. Goldhaber said she has volunteered for a similar program last year when she was at McMaster University.

Twenty-five-year-old Humber Creative Photography student Rebecca Roach said she files her taxes because she has to and to claim refunds. She’s been filing her taxes since she was 18 and gets an accountant to do them for her.

“I usually get somebody to do it for me because… I don’t know what I’m doing,” she said.

Students filing tax returns can carry forward their tuition credits to be used when they start earning income, Battista said.

Humber students can get their tuition certificate (T2202A) by logging on to their SRS account and clicking the link provided.

Generally CRA requires individuals to file tax returns on or before April 30th. Individuals can file returns directly on the CRA website or use one of the NETFILE-certified products when filing online.