Western Sydney University’s tax clinic offerings expands to support the financially vulnerable

Established as part of a government-sponsored pilot program last year, the Western Sydney University Tax Clinic – facilitated through the School of Business – will once again provide advice and support for unrepresented, lower income or vulnerable taxpayers and small businesses this year.

Developing the reach of the program, the School of Business has also released a series of explainer videos to assist tax clinic customers navigate this tax season.

Dr Connie Vitale, Tax Clinic Manager, highlighted how the success of last-year’s initiative and the passion for the project saw the School of Business not only redeploy the initiative, but also extend the services to financial education.

“We have been so proud of the achievements of our Tax Clinic. We were able to connect to financially vulnerable people and help them navigate help services, and we were able to support our students in this real-world learning environment,” said Dr Vitale.

Dr Michelle Cull, Associate Dean in the School of Business at Western Sydney University, noted the service was needed now more than ever.

“We are able to provide advice for many members of our community who are struggling to navigate the raft of new COVID-19-related changes to personal finances, such as working from home. Our clinic and videos have been developed to address these challenges.

The Western Sydney Tax Clinic is a federally funded initiative established to assist and educate unrepresented and financially vulnerable taxpayers regardless of cause. The Tax Clinic also assists in developing practical experience for accounting students as future tax professionals. Advice and support is provided by Western Sydney University accounting students under the supervision of experienced academic staff who are also registered tax agents.

About the videos

Videos can be accessed via the Western Sydney University Tax Clinic web page (opens in a new window), and include:

  • Who is required to lodge an income tax return?
  • What If I Haven't Lodged Outstanding Tax Returns?
  • Tax Deductions for Individuals- Working From Home During COVID-19
  • Tax Deductions for Individuals - Claiming home office expenses using the actual cost method
  • Tax Deductions for Individuals - Claiming home office expenses using the fixed rate method

To be eligible for the services of the Tax Clinic, clients must be currently unrepresented (do not have a tax agent). Due to COVID-19, the Western Sydney University Tax Clinic is conducting online consultations on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 10am and 2pm. Clients can make an appointment via email at thetaxclinic@westernsydney.edu.au.

ENDS

20 August 2020

Clare Patience, Senior Media Officer