No one really enjoys doing taxes and if you're a college student, making less than the required
Fox, director of the
"Despite the horror stories, the personal income tax system follows a fairly simple seven-step process, and doing your own taxes could pay you back pretty handsomely if you've had money withheld and you didn't earn that much," Fox said.
Fox offers the following tips for students:
* Start at the
* If you don't want to go it alone, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) on campus can help through
* Even if you owe nothing and your income is below the
* Talk to your parents to see if they are claiming you as a dependent. If you both claim the dependency exemption, the
In most cases, Fox says parents will claim their student as a dependent because they are still providing financial support. However, if students are paying their tuition and rent, they may meet the 50 percent threshold to be considered independent by the
Start planning now for next year
Although most people look forward to a tax refund, Fox said the objective should be to pay a small amount at the end of the year. Having less withheld throughout the year means a bigger paycheck and money that can go to savings or other expenses. Otherwise, taxpayers are essentially letting the
"It's just like overpaying on your electric bill all year. Then in April of the next year, the electric company gives you back the money that you didn't spend on electricity. We would never do that, but that's exactly what it's like when you get a tax refund," Fox said.
Students who want to learn more can take a one-credit class on personal finance (HDFS 183). Fox says the class, offered every semester, includes a tax component and focuses on managing student debt and budgeting to avoid financial problems. There's still time to sign up for the class, which begins on
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