The UBC Tax Assistance Clinic for Students (TACS) is an invaluable resource for those of you trying to figure out how, exactly, this thing called “being an adult” works. UBC TACS can’t solve all you’re adulting crises, but their volunteers can help you file your tax return, which already seems like a pretty scary business.
UBC TACS operates end of February/March. Most students, domestic or international, happen to be eligible for their services, which are free. In fact, by simply submitting a tax return, you’re likely to get some money out of the situation (a $75 refund, typically), if that gives you any incentive. Just schedule an appointment and bring in your documents! Volunteers are usually eager to help and will try to answer your tax-related questions to the best of their ability (and even then there’s always a supervisor to go over the more complicated issues, if the need should arise). They have been debriefed on the basic principles of how taxes work and what the most common student tax forms signify (e.g. T4, T4A, etc.), and they should have had some ethics training before they arrive at the appointment table to assist you.
UBC TACS uses UFile, a free Canadian tax software, to prepare your tax returns. UFile makes the process pretty simple if you want to try filing these tax returns yourself, but if you ever need some reassurance in what you are doing, I encourage you to take advantage of this resource. 🙂