College students have a lot to learn while in school. From academic subjects like math, to softer skills like nailing an interview, lessons can involve experience both in and out of the classroom. Filing taxes is rarely covered in either setting. There is a lot to know about filing taxes, but here are a few tax tips for college students that might help make filing easier.
Consult your parents or guardians
Not only are your parents or guardians a useful resource, but they might provide some essential information to include on your taxes. For instance, if your parents are claiming you as a dependent, that will change how much money you get back and how you fill out your taxes. So pick up the phone and give your folks a call. They’d love to hear from you!
Choose the right forms
Depending on your situation, you may need to complete and file a number of different forms. If you worked a job, you’ll be given a W-2; if you collected interest on savings accounts, etc. you may need to file form 1099-INT; and if you had or paid expenses related to school, you may receive a 1098-T or need to fill out a 1098-E. No matter what forms you have, the important thing is that you include all the ones you need. These forms are important for making your taxes accurate and can influence the tax deductions and credits you’re eligible to receive. If you’re unsure of which forms to complete, ask a tax advisor or consult the IRS website.
Explore options to file for free
If you have the opportunity to file for free, it is worth taking. According to the IRS’s free filing program, as long as your income is below $69,000, you’re granted access to file for free through a number of different programs (such as TurboTax, TaxAct, and H&R Block). Some of these programs might charge for state and city taxes though, so take care to look for the one that’s best for you. Of course there may existing circumstances in which you have to pay to file, but if there’s nothing requiring you to pay, it may be better to save the money and file for free.