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Tax Made Beerable

When University of Tasmania researchers Matthew Fielding and Kelsey Picard needed tax advice for their not-for-profit side hustle Science Made Beerable, they decided to pay a visit to the University’s Tax Clinic.

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When University of Tasmania researchers Matthew Fielding and Kelsey Picard needed tax advice for their not-for-profit side hustle Science Made Beerable, they decided to pay a visit to the University’s Tax Clinic.

The University Tax Clinics have been offering free tax support and advice since 2019 and have helped over 400 people like Matthew and Kelsey with assistance around basic and complex tax issues.

Science Made Beerable is a volunteer-run, not-for-profit project that started in 2020 to explore the science behind beer and brewing through a website, blog and in-person events.

“Kelsey and I decided to create Science Made Beerable to combine two of our passions, science communication and beer,” said Matthew.

For this dynamic duo of beer-brained researchers, the goal of Science Made Beerable is to uncover and explore the incredible science behind beer and make it accessible to the public.

“One of the ways we do this is through a live-streamed beer tasting panel event during National Science Week,” said Kelsey. “For the event, we challenge four brewers to concoct experimental beers before getting them in a room to talk about the science behind the beers while drinking them.”

Science Made Beerable's Kelsey Picard and her baby Bowie at the Hobart Tax Clinic

In 2021, Science Made Beerable was lucky enough to receive a sizeable grant from the Federal government to run one of its events during National Science Week.

“The grant was really exciting, but because it was in my name, I was unsure and, quite honestly, a little worried about how it might impact my income tax.

“I reached out to the Tax Clinic and had a private consultation with one of their experts and several students,” said Matthew. “They were able to walk me through the process while explaining the details, so I not only got the help I needed but also understood what was happening.

“They also provided advice for accepting future grants, and I feel like I’m now better prepared for any tax-related issues,” said Matthew.

For interim Tax Clinic Manager and Lecturer in Accounting John Streeter, these Clinics are an opportunity to provide free tax guidance to unrepresented people and microbusinesses, like Science Made Beerable, while improving tax literacy in the community.

“The clients coming to us have often never had professional tax advice and don’t know where to start,” said John. “If the situation is too complex or the client would be better suited to a practising tax accountant, we will direct them to the appropriate professionals for their needs.”

“I’m a scientist who loves beer, so I had no idea how accounting and tax worked,” said Matthew. “I would 100% recommend the Tax Clinic, particularly for microbusinesses, volunteer-run groups, and students.

“I’ll definitely be reaching out to them after this year’s National Science Week event in August,” said Matthew.

The University of Tasmania is one of 10 universities across Australia participating in the program, which is being funded by the Federal Government. In Tasmania, the clinic operates out of both Hobart and Launceston.

For more information, go to utas.edu.au/tax-clinic. To book an appointment, please email Tax.Clinic@utas.edu.au or phone (03) 6226 6118.