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SCU students provide tax help


18 November 2003
Southern Cross University (SCU) accounting students from the Coffs Harbour campus were among 30 volunteers who spent the past few months helping low-income earners in the Mid North Coast region complete their tax returns.

Each year the Australian Tax Office trains volunteers around the country for its Tax Help program, which assists people who earn $30,000 or less to complete their tax returns.

SCU accounting lecturer, Ms Margaret Drever, said the University had been involved in the program for the past six years.

She said nine Bachelor of Business students took part in a two-day training program and then went out to various areas within the region to provide assistance in preparing tax returns. An office was also set up at the University’s Coffs Harbour campus.

“Low-income earners can come in and have their tax return completed for free. At the same time it’s great experience for our accounting students, who learn not only about taxation but also develop their communication skills,” Ms Drever said.

“Any of our students who have taken part in this program have been snapped up by the accounting profession.”

The director of the national Tax Help program, Mr Steve Tonks, said 30 volunteers, including the SCU students, took part in this year's program.

Mr Tonks said they operated out of nine centres and 554 returns were lodged, including 97 e-tax returns. All the volunteers were presented with certificates at a special ceremony held at the Coffs Harbour Neighbourhood Centre.

Caption: SCU accounting lecturer Margaret Drever, left, receives a certificate from Sandy Bell, Australian Tax Office’s assistant commissioner client contact, with Tax Help co-ordinator Michelle Kay looking on.

Media contact: Brigid Veale, SCU Media Liaison, Ph: 66593006 or m: 0409 826894.