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Everything You Need to Know for This Year’s Tax Season

Tax season is upon us and it’s time for all college students to start thinking about filing their taxes from the 2014 tax year. Filing taxes is a necessary evil that everyone must complete every year. However, by taking the time to understand what filing your taxes entails, you may end up with a tax refund – a great boost to any college student’s wallet. Here are some common questions as well as some tips and tricks to consider when you begin to file taxes.

Do I Need to File Taxes?

If you earned wages during 2014, yes. You may have heard that there is a minimum income requirement in order to file taxes. However, by filing a return regardless of the income you made, you may find that you are entitled to a refund for the money that was withheld from your paychecks during 2014. A refund is a nice boost for any college student! Also, there are many tax credits available for college students and their parents. Depending on your dependency status, you or your parents may be eligible for one of these tax credits. These credits include the American Opportunity Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit.

When Can I Start Filing My Taxes?

The IRS e-file officially opened on January 20th, 2015. You can access the e-file by going to http://www.irs.gov/uac/Free-File:-Do-Your-Federal-Taxes-for-Free.  You can file at any time from now until the deadline.

What Date Do I Have to File My Taxes By?

The hard deadline to have your tax return filed by is Wednesday April 15th. Students are encouraged to get started on their taxes early to avoid any complications at the last minute. A good recommendation is to spend a Saturday early in the semester working on your tax return before class, work, and obligations start piling up. By starting early, you can get help with any questions you may have and will not be rushed for time.

What Documents Do I Need to Start Filing?

For most college students, all you will need is a W-2 form from your employer(s) during 2014 and your 1098-T, which can be found on ISIS under ‘Campus Finances’. These forms should have been sent out by January 31st, so if you have not yet received one from your employer, you should give them a call and ask for another copy to be sent to you. The W-2 form contains all of your wage information for 2014, which is very important when it comes to filling out all of your tax information.   The 1098-T includes a summary of tuition and fees paid, which can provide a tax credit.

Where Can I Go For Help?

There are some great opportunities for students to get help with their taxes. Many general questions can be answered from the IRS website. The IRS also has a webpage dedicated to students. You can visit http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Students to get some great information about filing taxes as a student.  However, many students would like more help than what the IRS can offer. The Manhattan area has a great program called VITA. VITA stands for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance. It is a FREE service offered to anyone with a household income below $52,000. VITA can prepare your federal and state tax returns for free! Any student looking for help with their taxes is encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity. You can schedule an appointment with VITA by calling 785-565-6426 or e-mailing vitataxes@gmail.com. VITA is located in the Manhattan Public Library computer lab and holds hours on Tuesdays from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm and on Thursdays from 9:30 am to 8:00 pm.  International students can use Glacier Tax Prep at https://www.glaciertax.com/.

What Can Powercat Financial Counseling Do for You?

While we cannot offer help with your income taxes, Powercat Financial Counseling can be another great resource to students during the tax season. Do you have a question about filing out the FASFA? (Remember, the priority deadline is March 1st!) Do you want to know how you should use that tax refund you may receive? Do you have any other questions about your finances? Powercat Financial Counseling is here to help! You can schedule an appointment on our website at www.ksu.edu/pfc.

 

Tyler Pemble
Peer Counselor II
Powercat Financial Counseling
www.ksu.edu/pfc

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