Challenging real-life scenarios have been equipping students with skills to provide tax assistance at Griffith Tax Clinic while helping free clients from tax burdens.

Since its opening six months ago, the free clinic has seen student tax advisers help about 200 locals with their tax returns and resolve other tax issues under the supervision of qualified tax practitioners.

Third-year Bachelor of Laws (Honours) student Kristin Thomas was a student tax adviser in Trimester 2, 2019, and is currently assisting as office manager. She said the clinic is a supportive environment where she feels safe to learn and grow.

Kristin (seated) found her experience as a student tax adviser rewarding.

“It was fascinating to apply theory in real work scenarios and sometimes it didn’t work as smoothly as a class example would, but it made for a much more interesting puzzle to solve,” she said.

“Life isn’t as clear-cut as we experience in class examples so being at the clinic allows you to get the practical experience of working with all of the subtle influences and nuances you get in everyday life.”

Kristin said time spent working at the clinic is not only a great learning experience, but also personally rewarding.

“Some clients have genuinely struggled, and they open up about some heartbreaking experiences which have led them to falling behind with or neglecting their tax obligations,” she said.

“While you can’t fix everything, you can help them close off hard chapters of their lives and move on, or even help them get out from underneath crushing debt.

Students giving tax advice to a client.

“There’s no better feeling for me.”

A further 130 people have attended 11 free seminars held by Griffith Tax Clinic, on topics like small business and tax, tax and apprenticeships, and tax and your home.

The next free seminar, Superannuation and Tax: How does it all work? will be held at Griffith’s Logan campus on January 14, from 6-8pm.

For more information and to register for the seminar, head to the Griffith Tax Clinic website.