UNSW Tax Clinic is offering free, independent and confidential tax advice for people and small businesses in genuine financial distress, as part of an ongoing initiative with professional service firms PwC Australia and KPMG Australia.
“We know that 2.1 million adults across Australia were experiencing severe or high financial stress back in 2018 – well before the devastation caused by the drought, bushfires, floods and now COVID-19. This number is likely much higher now with the ever-increasing shocks to our economy, so helping people in financial hardship is all the more important.” says Dr Ann Kayis-Kumar, co-founder of the UNSW Tax Clinic and senior lecturer at the UNSW Business School.
“Tax clinics present a unique opportunity for the tax profession to engage in grassroots, skills-based volunteering. We’re proud of our new alliances with PwC Australia and KPMG Australia, and grateful for their generous support.”
PwC Australia will offer over 30 individual volunteers from their Sydney office for the cause – Australia's largest pro bono tax professional cohort from a single professional services firm.
PwC Australia Tax Partner Ali Noroozi says: “This is an extremely challenging time for many small businesses, and having access to expert advice is more important than ever. We are delighted to be able to partner with UNSW Business School on this initiative to help make a real difference to those who may be under pressure at this time.”
KPMG Australia will continue to provide a regular secondee from their Tax Controversy team to bolster the team of experienced tax professionals and student volunteers.
UNSW Business School students will receive hands-on experience helping the wider community and develop their tax technical skills, all while being mentored by experienced professionals.
Angela Wood, KPMG Australia’s Head of Tax Dispute Resolution and Controversy, says: “The opportunity to continue to partner with UNSW Business School in assisting the Tax Clinic’s clients, especially now as so many are facing into difficult times, is a high priority for KPMG Australia. We are keen to continue to support financially vulnerable businesses and individuals through the program at the same time as helping to develop valuable skills in the students we are assisting to mentor.”
Dr Kayis-Kumar says: “For many who walk through UNSW Tax Clinic’s doors seeking tax advice and support to complete their tax returns is often a stepping-stone to financial independence.”
UNSW Tax Clinic is ready to help people from across NSW in financial hardship as a result of the recent natural disasters, including the drought, bushfires, floods, and the COVID-19 pandemic. All in-person client appointments have been transitioned to telephone appointments in the face of COVID-19.