As If Exams Weren’t Hard Enough: Essential Tax Advice for the College Student
Note: The following is a guest post from Andrew Brushnahan.
Let’s face it, college is a pretty hectic time for any student. The mass amounts of homework, the endless hours of studying, and finally, the exams that have you stressed all throughout the school year. It should come as no surprise that tax-time flies well above the radar for most college students, but in all reality, you will probably find that it was the easiest portion of the year for you when compared to that calculus exam you have coming up next week. With a few nuggets of tax-time knowledge under your belt, you will be pocketing a hefty refund check in no time flat.
Get An Early Start
The key to accomplishing anything usually begins with an early jumpstart; the same is true when it comes to filing taxes. While it may seem like you could start doing your taxes many months ahead of time and still never conquer anything, the truth is that you will do just fine starting a month, or even a couple of weeks, ahead of time. The reason why you want to have a head start on your taxes is so you can identify any possible problems that may present themselves. Moreover, this added time allows you to look for deductions and other attributes that may allow you to receive a heftier refund check.
Think of the term “practice makes perfect.” We all have heard that saying at least once in our lives, simply because it is true. If you start preparing for tax-time earlier, then you will not have received your W-2 forms. However, most tax forms, whether it is state or federal, are available online. Moreover, a simple pay stub will provide you with most of the information you will need to figure out an estimate on your refund; information such as your gross income and withholdings.
Free and Online Assistance Filing Your Taxes
The actual aspect of filing taxes is what most people, student or not, find difficult and oftentimes, confusing. Luckily, we live in a contemporary world, and help is available around every corner to help you file taxes, some even are free. A simple Google search will yield several options for free tax prep software, more than a few of them being beneficial. Furthermore, let’s not forget that most colleges have a business and accounting department. Typically, accounting students are often available for free tax help so that they can obtain real life experience. In fact, you may have overlooked a flyer you walk by every day that advertises this service.
Whether you decide to have an accounting student help you with your taxes, e-file them online, or just choose to go about them alone, as long as they get done, you will be good to go. With so many free, or at least cheap, forms of tax help available, it would be pointless to neglect your tax forms. Besides, you may have a nice refund check coming and didn’t even know it. While school is already putting a lot on your plate, it is important to find a little wiggle room for tax-time as it could mean a good chunk of money in your pocket for spring break.
Andrew Brusnahan is a freelance writer who, actually, is a full time student himself. He enjoys making the school year a lot easier for other students through his writing. If you would like Andrew to write for you, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.