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Free help with tax returns

Daniel Bouwmeester    July 21, 2023    2 min read   

Residents earning $60,000 or less can get their 2022-23 tax return completed free of charge via the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Tax Help Program.

The free program is made possible through local resident volunteers generously donating their time and expertise.

One such volunteer, Joe Buhagiar, has been offering his services two days a week, since mid-July, at the office of Jordan MP Charis Mullen.

“I like to help people,” Joe said.

As a retired Qantas cargo revenue accountant, Joe has had extensive tax and accounting experience, which he has since been putting to good use.

For some three decades now, Joe has visited public libraries and community halls around the country to offer assistance with tax returns for needy members of the public, particularly those living in regional towns between Canberra and Sydney – where Joe had lived previously.

Going back

Joe moved from regional New South Wales to Springfield recently to be closer to his family, including two sons.

After quickly settling down in the new area and making fast friends, Joe wanted to get back on the volunteer horse.

“I decided I wanted to go back to volunteering,” Joe said.

In his late teens, Joe and his family became refugees forced out of Egypt by then President Nasser during the ongoing conflict over the Suez Canal in 1956.

They were interned for weeks and deported to the United Kingdom in 1957.

They lived with his aunt in Cambridgeshire, England, where he later met his wife, Edie.

Joe Buhagiar, left, poses proudly with Jordan representative Charis Mullen at her office in Springfield Central. Image: Charis Mullen MP.

Tax Help is available every Tuesday and Thursday, 9am to 5pm, at the Jordan Electorate Office – GE Building, 6 Yoga Way, Springfield Central (Ground Floor, next to Cold Rock). Call 3447 9300 to book an appointment.

For more information, visit the ATO website.

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Daniel Bouwmeester

Daniel was born in a mining town in New South Wales to Dutch and Welsh immigrants, before relocating to Logan City, where he attended Canterbury College for twelve years. He pursued his passion for music by completing a first-class honours degree at the University of Queensland (UQ), and later signed with a local record label. He has travelled the world from a young age, including a student exchange in rural France, a job working the ski lifts in Colorado, and visits to the islands of the South Pacific. After a six-year career in market research, Daniel returned to UQ to complete a Bachelor of Journalism and Arts dual degree, majoring in political science. His varied experiences at home and abroad have contributed to a passion for spreading good news while defending the truth buried inside complex societal paradigms.