Tax tips: A how-to for college students
By Hannah Dunbar
When one hears the word taxes, it is typically immediately followed by a sigh or some sort of displeasure.
In order to make the process of organizing and filing taxes easier for students, a few faculty and staff members at the University of Findlay give their advice. Although the University does not offer any resources in assisting students with their tax returns, there are several resources students have to choose from.
According to Joseph Spencer, associate director of financial aid, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program is an option for college students who are seeking help in preparing their tax returns. There are two VITA locations in Hancock County and they are the Findlay-Hancock County Public Library located at 206 Broadway and the Agency on Aging which is in the Family Center at 1800 North Blanchard St.
In addition to VITA, another agency that can assist you with your taxes is the United Way of Hancock County, according to Dan Yates, associate professor of business.
“Dial 211 and the information service personnel will set up an appointment with you,” said Yates.
If you do not prefer to consult with a resource center to file your taxes, you can file your tax returns by utilizing a tax package instead.
“I would definitely suggest using a tax package because it will create an audit trail for students so they can import information into the next year,” said Louann Cummings, professor of business. “I am a huge supporter of Turbo Tax because it is simple and straightforward.”
Once you decide how to file your tax returns, the next step is to gather the appropriate items necessary to complete your taxes. There are several items an individual must remember when filing taxes, according to Yates.
“You will need your W-2 form sent to you by your employer or any 1099s in which you performed services,” said Yates. “Bank statements showing any interest earned as well as statements from any investment earnings is also needed.”
Cummings’s advice for students who are filing taxes is to take advantage of any type of retirement investment.
“Starting an Individual Retirement Account is the best thing students can do to invest in their futures,” said Cummings. “It is never too early to start.”
Yates says that the first time a student attempts to do his or her taxes, it is beneficial to have an individual help who is experienced in tax preparation.
“Give yourself plenty of time to do your taxes and don’t wait until the last minute to get started,” said Yates.
To learn more about filing taxes, go to www.irs.gov.