Categories
Budgeting & Saving

How Filing Taxes On Your Own Can Make You Smarter

This partner post is part of the TaxAct #DIYtaxes blog tour which empowers you to take ownership of your finances by doing your own taxes. TaxAct provides the tools and guidance to help you confidently file your taxes easy and fast. Do your own taxes today at TaxAct.com. You got this. 

 

Do you do your own taxes? If not, maybe you should start. Filing taxes on your own can make you smarter. You’ll learn new skills and gain a better understanding about your personal financial situation than you ever thought possible. Trust me! I’ve definitely learned a lot about both tax rules and regulations, as well as my own money management style by doing my own taxes in the past.

When I first started doing my taxes, I was using the easy phone system. Because I was eligible for the 1040-EZ filing, all I had to do was call, report my income, confirm, and my refund was in the mail shortly after. As technology improved, I continued to file the 1040-EZ but I started to do so online. Then, I started a business and my taxes got a little more complicated. But I simply used an online filing service that walked me through the questions that I needed to make filing easy. And I learned a lot about credits, deductions, and where to go on IRS.gov to get more information.

Here are some ways that filing your own taxes can make you smarter.

Filing taxes on your own allows you to…

1) Learn About Tax Filing Deductions

As mentioned, one of the benefits of doing your own taxes is learning more about tax rules, regulations, and best of all, deductions. When you walk through doing your own taxes, you may find places to save money that you have never used before. This is especially true if you use a tax software that takes you through several question and answer prompts about events that may have taken place in the last tax year. Once you learn about these deductions and savings tools, you’ll be able to use them for years to come, as long as the tax code doesn’t change in the meantime.

2) Become Aware of Income and Expenses

It’s easy to get caught up on how much money you are bringing home every two weeks when you get paid and forget about the bigger picture of how much you are really earning each year in terms of both salary before taxes and other withholdings for retirement, health insurance, etc. But when you complete your own tax return, you’ll get a chance to see what your earnings and expenses really are.

3) Complete a Financial Check-Up

Again, doing your own taxes means you have to gather up all of your documents for the year, including earnings statements, expenses, etc. It’s also a good time to review the other aspects of your personal finances, like your debt obligations, investment accounts, insurance, and more. While you have all of that out and in front of you anyway, it’s a good idea to also give your budget a once-over to make sure you are saving as much money as you can. You may find that you can put more money toward your savings goals, or that you could lower some of your monthly bills with a little negotiation or leg work.

4) Make Last Minute Adjustments

By doing my own taxes, I’ve also been able to make some last minute adjustments to help my overall financial picture. As an example, you have until April 15th to make retirement contributions for the prior calendar year, which may help you cut down on the amount of income tax you owe to the government. Doing your own taxes means you have the ability to look at your tax status and decide if adding more money to your retirement savings is a good idea to help lower your taxable income.

5) Review and Adjust Withholdings

When you get ready to sign the bottom line, don’t think you are finished just yet. Once you’ve determine how much you owe to the IRS, or how much of a refund you’ll be getting back, you should take the time to adjust your withholding rate too. Although getting a large tax refund may seem like a good idea, it’s actually better to receive more money on every paycheck throughout the year instead. If you consistently receive a large tax refund, it may be time to lower you withholdings so you can receive more of your money throughout the year instead of getting a lump sum during tax time.

Likewise, if you ended up owing a lot of money into the IRS you can adjust your withholdings the other direction to have more withheld from your paychecks to get your estimate as close to $0 as possible for the new year.

Doing your own taxes doesn’t have to be daunting. In fact, it’s easier than ever thanks to many online tax programs that allow you answer simple questions and quickly fill out a few fill-in-the-blank forms. Plus doing your own taxes is a great way to learn new skills and be aware of your own personal financial situation.

Are you doing your own taxes?

 

Beating the tax deadline doesn’t have to be stressful. With TaxAct, everything you need to confidently prepare and e-file your taxes is right at your fingertips. You got this. File your simple federal and state return FREE today with TaxAct. 

Originally posted 2016-04-07 06:00:01.

Categories
Homeownership

4 Proven Ways to Save Money as a Renter

This post is sponsored by Fidelity Investments®. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Fidelity does not adopt, endorse or sponsor any other content on this website, including links to other third-party websites and is not responsible for any views expressed outside of this sponsored post.

Renting an apartment can be both an exciting and slightly stressful experience. Having a place of your own will grant you freedom but many financial responsibilities will be added to your plate as well.

Given the high market rent rates throughout the country, along with expenses like utilities, food, parking fees and a security deposit, many first time apartment renters are searching for a way to cut back on costs so they can avoid struggling financially.

Consider some of these money saving tips before looking for your next place.

Choose an Affordable Area

Location is very important when you’re trying to get more bang for your buck. The area that you choose to live in can significantly affect your rent. Most of the time, housing in a large city is going to be more expensive than in a small suburb.

But apartments closer to shopping malls, tourist attractions, and popular high-traffic areas of a city or suburb are going to cost more. The idea is that people who choose to live near these conveniences are willing to pay more.

Skip All the Amenities

Apartment complexes that have a gym, pool and clubhouse are nice, but if you’re trying to save money on rent, they may not be the best option. The apartments with the most amenities and luxury features will have higher rent because the tenants are expected to help pay for the extra add-ons.

If you leased an apartment at a complex that has a private gym and a hot tub, you may be paying an extra $100 in rent for luxuries you don’t often use. If you think your car will be safe parked outside of your apartment year-’round, then opt out of spending the extra $20 or $30 per month for a parking space.

It’s nice to have these things nearby but by choosing a basic apartment that has everything you need and little extras can really help you knock $200+ off your monthly rent. That will help you save $2,400 a year or more. That extra cash can go toward debt repayment or even help boost your savings.

When it comes down to it, you have to ask yourself what you value more and choose an apartment that fits your expectations in value, quality and affordability.

Get a Roommate

Living with a roommate can significantly lighten the financial burden that comes along with renting your own place for the first time. When you split the costs of rent and other bills, you’ll both save some money and you won’t be expected to pay for everything yourself.

If you choose to get a roommate, you’ll have to be okay with sharing your living space. Make sure you pick someone you can get along with and who has similar goals and values as you. Drafting up a brief agreement would be a good idea to lay out ground rules and make sure you and your roommate are on the same page. You’ll also want to make sure that both of your names are on the lease so you’ll both be equally responsible for paying the rent each month and maintaining the apartment.

Lower Your Utilities and Bills

As a renter, your landlord may cover some of the utilities like garbage and water and make a few repairs here and there, but you will likely be responsible for paying your own way as well covering your electricity, internet, gas and so on.

It’s very rare that a landlord will pay your electric bill because this utility can vary a lot based on your usage and it’s usually the most expensive bill you’ll have. Therefore, it’s important to do a quick sweep through the house before you leave for the day to make sure everything is turned off and if you have programmable thermostat, set it to automatically reduce heat or air at certain times during the day or night.

Budget

Delay turning your heat on for as long as you can during the fall and do the same with your air conditioning in the spring. Be very conscious of how often you use certain things in your home and try to conserve energy, water usage etc. You can also reduce your cable expense by opting for the most basic cable package. You can track your spending and saving using a tool like Cinch from Fidelity. With Cinch you can see your spending in one place and create a customized savings target. I can think of several times that I missed a payment because I didn’t pay attention to all of my spending. Cinch helps with this.

Living on your own for the first time is full of financial challenges making it crucial that you prioritize your spending and cut expenses however you can.

Figured out the renting thing and looking to take the next step? Use this helpful tool from Fidelity to see if you should rent or buy.

Learn more about MyMoney, a website created by Fidelity Investments® to help you make sense of your personal finances. Fidelity Brokerage Services Member NYSE, SIPC.

Originally posted 2016-03-14 09:00:34.

Categories
Budgeting & Saving

3 Simple Ways to Travel on a Budget

At some point in your life the travel bug hits you. For some people it happens earlier than for others. I remember always wanting to travel. So much so that my career ambition was to be a travel agent. After speaking with my guidance counselor, I learned that my career of choice was not as viable as I had hoped. So I decided to travel for fun instead. I traveled out of the country for the first time while attending college.

In college I signed up for a study abroad program. If you are still in college I highly recommend this way of travel as a first timer out of the country. It’s an easy way to get acquainted with the whole process of leaving the country. Spending time outside of your natural habitat and in unfamiliar surroundings really helps you grow as a person. But travel can be expensive and as a college student or recent graduate, you have to watch every penny. So here are some tips to travel on a budget.

Plan Your Travel Budget

If you are a recent college graduate, then you may not have the money to blow on a five-star vacation to Dubai. But if travel is important to you then you should at the very least have a travel budget. I have a separate ‘savings’ account that is specifically for my spontaneous travel and each month I put aside 25 dollars. This process is as simple as setting an automatic transfer and at 25 dollars it doesn’t affect my normal budget significantly. If there is not enough in my normal discretionary spending for a plane ticket, I can tap my travel savings account. I also try to deposit extra money in that account when I have it. This is savings in addition to my 401k and emergency account savings so I feel absolutely no guilt about emptying it every few months. I recently went to the Bahamas for my birthday and I emptied my travel account to enjoy a dolphin encounter. It was amazing! And I am already beginning to save for my next trip.

I want to make two important notes here. Nothing should trump your normal savings plan and you shouldn’t ‘dip’ into normal savings for a trip. Secondly, it’s OK to enjoy what you’ve worked so hard for! Just don’t let it put you off track of your ultimate goal. But traveling doesn’t have to be expensive and I’m going to tell you exactly how to budget for travel.

Search for Deals to Fit Your Travel Budget

While saving money for travel is beneficial, it’s important to stretch that travel dollar as far as it will go. Searching for deals on flights and hotels can help you save even more money. Try Kayak.com to find flight deals leaving from your city. You can also set an alert to track the flight prices as they fluctuate. I search for flights with Kayak and watch the confidence meter. It estimates whether the price of a flight will increase or drop over the next seven days. And snagging a good deal while it’s hot is a great method to stretch your travel dollar.

BONUS: Maximize Your Travel Budget

One of the best ways to travel on a regular basis is by using points or Miles that you earn with everyday purchases. For example, with the Discover it® Miles card, you can earn 1.5X Miles on every dollar spent. The card also allows you to fly any airline at any time. And you can also redeem your Miles for a variety of travel purchases including hotels or rental cars! As a new cardmember, Discover will automatically double all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year on your Miles card. Now you can travel even more.

Traveling as a college student or recent college grad does not have to be expensive. If you take the time to search for travel deals and put money aside into a travel fund, you can travel more often this year. And by using a card like the Discover it Miles card, you can even maximize your travel budget.

This post was created in partnership with Discover.

Originally posted 2016-01-27 16:58:57.

Categories
Young Finances

How Much Sleep Does a College Student Need?

College can be a busy time in your life. On top of attending class and doing homework, many college students get a job – leaving them with very limited free time. This also leaves very little time to sleep. Which brings us to a popular question: How much sleep do college students need?

According to experts at Stanford University’s Department for the Diagnosis and Treatment for Sleep Disorders, college students should be getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night.

This article goes on to describe how college students who end up getting less than 8 hours of sleep endure something called sleep debt.

Getting the proper amount of sleep is important and allows your body to have enough time to rest and recharge so you can be at your best focus and energy level for the following day.

Thus, as you can probably tell, pulling an all-nighter every week is not the healthiest habit for your body. Here are some simple ways college students can get more sleep time in to receive at least 8 hours each night.

Schedule a Nap

Naps can do wonders. Even if your schedule is busy, you may still have time for a nap if you schedule it for between classes. Some students like to use breaks within the day to catch up on homework and run errands. I used to use some of my free time in between classes to take a quick nap. Those naps helped me power through the rest of the day.

Most college classes start no earlier than 8:00 a.m. If you go to bed at 10 p.m. and wake up at 6:00 a.m., that will leave you with enough time to get ready for class, go over homework and run an errand all before class. If you are less of a morning person, you can always stay up until 11 p.m. and sleep until 7. There are ways to get 8 hours.

Change your Sleep Environment

If you find it hard to get to sleep at night and you tend to lay awake in bed for some time, you might want to try changing your sleep environment.

Sometimes noise and activity can deter your body from being able to rest and relax so you can sleep. Make sure you turn the television and computer off at least 30 minutes before bed and get in a quiet environment.

If you notice anything about your bed that’s irritating you (like a squeaky or rough mattress or pillows that make your neck hurt) consider replacing said item(s).

Develop a Sleep Routine You Can Stick To

If you prefer not to take a nap during the day and get all your sleep in at night, develop a realistic sleep routine that will allow you to get 8 hours or more of rest each night.

As a college student, it’s nice that you have the power to create your own schedule. Decide whether you like to get more done in the morning or in the late afternoon and evening. Then choose your classes based on that preference.

If you work, most jobs will ask your availability. A lot of students try to get the bulk of their work hours done during the weekend but it’s not uncommon to work before, after or in between classes.

If you have a job that requires you to work late, make sure your classes do not start early the next day so you can get the proper rest.

Stay away from caffeine and coffee before bed. Take 10 minutes to prep for the next day before you lie down. If your routine is new, sticking to it each day might be a bit of a challenge at first, but it will become second nature soon enough.

Getting enough sleep as a college student is crucial to your success. It can help improve your academic performance, give you enough energy to make it throughout the day, and prevent sleep debt habits like drowsiness and oversleeping.

 

If the average college student needs 8 or more hours of sleep each night, how do you compare?

Originally posted 2016-01-20 10:00:33.

Categories
Young Finances

45+ Must Read Blogs for College Students

The Internet is filled with tons and tons of great content for college students. It can seem daunting to sift through it all to find what’s really valuable. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of our favorite blogs that provide everything from entertainment to inspiration to advice and more.

General & Lifestyle

Lifehacker: If efficiency is of interest to you, then you have to read Lifehacker. Even the “About” description is efficient: Tips, tricks, and downloads for getting things done. Descriptions don’t get more concise than that. Lifehacker gives you ways to, well, hack life. And those tips can help college students save time, money, and prevent stress.

Kineda: Dubbed “Your Premier Online Lifestyle Magazine,” this website is chock-full of content from a range of topics – culture, style, footwear, tech, entertainment, automotive, and design, to be exact. The website’s simplistic layout makes for an excellent user experience and, quite frankly, no matter what you’re interested in you can find something here for you.

everything i did: The writers here are all about helping others build a better life. Through sharing stories of the mistakes and lessons from their own lives, you can glean insights on how to live a better life yourself.

Forever Twenty Somethings: If you’re needing a mental break, and enjoy lists, this is the place to go. Find fun articles, helpful tips, and a lot of entertainment on this lifestyle, Buzzfeed style blog.

The Positivity Blog: This blog is exactly what it sounds like… a place for positivity. It offers “practical personal development advice and step-by-step strategies that work in real life to produce positive results.” Find tips for living a happier life, increasing confidence, becoming more productive, and improving relationships.

GenYize: Become a “Solutionist” with GenYize, a blog dedicated to millennials helping other millennials navigate life and plan for the future. Solutionists challenge the status quo and work to advance their generation. Sound like you?

Treehugger: Taking better care of our planet is an incredibly important charge, and one that we may not quite know how to do. Enter Treehugger. This “media outlet dedicated to driving sustainability mainstream” strives to be “a one-stop shop for green news, solutions, and product information.” If you have a passion to protect our environment, definitely subscribe to this blog.

Life After College: Okay, so you might still be in college, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start preparing for what happens after graduation. Life After College helps people wake up, live big and love the journey.

When I Grow Up: No, this isn’t the start of a Pussycat Dolls song. (Not sure why that song jumped into my head.) Michelle Ward is the founder of this blog which focuses on career success, change, and encouragement.

Advice from a 20 Something: Need advice? Ask Amanda! This advice column for the modern age covers everything from blogging to fashion to health and beyond. Any question you could have is likely covered on this blog… and if it’s not, you can submit a question yourself!

The Minimalists: At age 30, the two authors of this blog left their cushy corporate jobs to embark on a 21-day journey to minimalism. Their blog teaches you not how to have less, but make room for more time, passion, experiences, and growth.

Zen Habits: Life is chaotic and we often get lost in things that, when we really think about it, aren’t that important. Zen Habits helps you find simplicity and mindfulness amidst the chaos, and focus on what’s important.

Apartment Therapy: A sister blog of The Kitchn (linked in the below ‘Health & Fitness’ category), Apartment Therapy is a collection of resources and ideas to create a beautiful home while maximizing your budget and space.

Instructables: This blog takes how-to’s to a whole new level. Instructables gives people a platform to share what they make, so that you can embark on whatever DIY project tickles your fancy.

Sploid: Stimulate your brain on Sploid, a blog subset of Gizmodo, that shares intriguing and just plain interesting content that will probably blow your mind.

Education

Chegg Blog: You’ve probably heard about Chegg as a resource for college students, but did you know they have a blog? There’s even a post about the 5 things you didn’t know your microwave could do. I’m definitely reading that one!

TED Blog: If you’re familiar with TED Talks, then you know the power of these information-packed presentations. For more great content, check out the blog.

Career

InternQueen: Chances are at some point in college you’re going to have an internship. Let the Intern Queen answer all your questions and prepare you for success in your endeavors! You can even find available internship opportunities on the site.

Ms. Career Girl: Ms. Career Girl is the ambitious, powerful woman in all of us, just waiting to break free. This group blog contains valuable information on everything from job search to travel, relationships to personal finance, fashion to professionalism and more.

Study Hacks: How do people reach the upper echelon in their careers? And of equal importance, how do they do so while keeping their work a meaningful and sustainable part of their life? These are the questions that Cal Newport, computer science professor at Georgetown University, aims to answer. Curious? Check out his blog.

Health & Fitness

Hello Healthy: As far as health blogs go, Hello Healthy is a favorite of mine. It is the official blog of My Fitness Pal that’s chock-full of recipes, exercise tips, and health advice. Its simple layout and easy to read content makes healthy living easy, fun and delicious.

The Kitchn: Recipes. Cooking lessons. Product reviews. Kitchen design. And more. The Kitchn is a daily food magazine helping people live happier, healthier lives.

Daily Cup of Yoga: Do you define yourself as a “yogi”? Then you have to check out this blog. Not only does it document a man’s journey with yoga, but also delivers inspiring content for simple living.

Eat + Run: U.S. News & World Report is a thought leader in many areas – best hospitals, best universities, etc. Did you know they also have a health blog? Their suite of experts provide food and fitness articles that are worth checking out.

Travel

The Blonde Abroad: Kiersten is a California native who left her stuffy corporate finance job to travel the world… and blog about it. Follow along on her adventures and, like me, be a little jealous.

Nomadic Matt: Travel more while spending less – $50 a day, to be exact. Nomadic Matt has been traveling the world since 2006 and now he uses his experiences to help others travel cheaper and take their dream vacation.

The Savvy Backpacker: Say hello to James and Susan, the experts on backpacking through Europe. Be careful jumping on this blog though, it’s going to make you want to walk out of college and never look back.

Science, Technology & Gadgets

Gizmodo: Do you love technology, gadgets, science, and all kinds of toys big and small? What about beautiful and smart design? Aircraft that fly at three times the speed of sound? Spaceships that reach every corner of the solar system? Geek culture? Science fiction? Then you have to check out Gizmodo.

Boing Boing: As a college student, you’ll definitely want to keep up with this “Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things.” Common themes include technology, futurism, science fiction, gadgets, intellectual property, and more. You’ll find some provocative thoughts, interesting discoveries, and a whole lot of weird.

Science of Us: Curious why we mishear song lyrics – or why we “happy cry?” Science of Us is a subset of New York Magazine that delivers quick, witty articles on a variety of subjects you didn’t even know were of interest to you.

News, Current Events, & Pop Culture

AMERICAblog: A great nation deserves the truth. Wouldn’t you agree? AMERICAblog agrees. For college students looking to keep up with US politics, both domestic and foreign, this is a great venue for keeping abreast of current political events.

The Skimm: Okay, so not exactly a blog, but definitely worth mentioning. The Skimm is a daily email newsletter that gives you updates on news and current events in easy to consume and understand ways. I recommend signing up ASAP!

Socialite Heights: Keeping up with pop culture can be challenging for a college student. Enter Socialite Heights, your quick delivery source for the latest on fashion, music, fine arts, and leisure.

Vox: Yet another news source, but one that helps you understand the news, not just hear what’s going on.

Mic: Mic approaches news from a different perspective by tailoring its coverage to young people and millennials. For a college student looking to keep up with current events, Mic speaks to you and in a way that helps you make sense of the world.

For Women

CollegeFashion: Skewed towards women, College Fashion is great for keeping up with the latest fashion trends (and finding affordable options). On the CF blog, you’ll find fashion tips, trends, beauty tips, online sale updates, décor ideas, student street style, and style advice.

Refinery29: Are you a smart, creative, and stylish woman? Find everything you need on Refinery29! This fast-growing blog is quickly becoming a one stop shop for everything trendy for young women.

The Everygirl: The ultimate inspiration for the creative, career driven woman, aka The Everygirl. This blog shares content related to travel, current events, food & drink, finance, and more.

For Men

Primer: Finally! Something for men! Primer Magazine is all about career success and personal wellness – how men can better themselves and walk confidently through the gate of adulthood.

Por Homme: The name alone should tell you everything you need to know – Por Homme means “for men” in French. Categories include style, leisure, toys, startups, industry, people, and society catered to men.

Mantelligence: How to order a martini like a man? Yep, that sounds like useful advice. For all the manly intelligence you could ever need, head over to Mantelligence to be the best man you can be!

 

Podcasts

Hardcore History: Even if you’re not a history buff, Dan Carlin does an excellent job of using storytelling to chronicle historical events. Someone who makes learning fun? Sign me up!

WTF with Marc Maron: For that dose of comedic relief in your day, check out Marc Maron’s podcast where he interviews various celebrities in the entertainment business.

Criminal/Serial: We couldn’t do a podcast category without mention these hugely popular ones. Criminal does one story per episode in a similar style. Serial, a spin-off of This American Life, features one story throughout a season.

Plz Advise: Hosted by Molly McAleer, former writer for 2 Broke Girls, this podcast answers all your burning questions frankly and honestly. This one is not for the easily offended.

All Work, All Play: Familiarize yourself with the millennial outlook with this podcast which is half dedicated to work topics and half dedicated to the lighter stuff.

What are some of your favorite blogs? Share them in the comments below!

Originally posted 2016-01-13 10:00:01.

Categories
Budgeting & Saving

How Can a College Student File Taxes?

If you’re a college student, you may not think a lot about taxes. After all, you may not earn a lot of money, or you may get work-study money and assume you don’t need to pay taxes. However, it’s important to be aware of the topic, even if you think they don’t yet apply to you.

Even if you’re in college, you may still have to pay taxes. While you can only answer these questions yourself, you may want to check with your parents and/or a tax professional as well for the best, most accurate advice.

Are You an Independent or Dependent Student?

In many cases, even if your parents have claimed you as a dependent on their taxes, and even if you’re a student, you may still have to file taxes. It depends on how much money you earned throughout the year.

If you were self-employed during the past year and made more than $400, you will have to file a federal tax return and pay self-employment tax. In addition, even if you received Federal Work-Study, you still are generally subject to federal and state income tax. However, unlike self-employment tax, your work-study income is exempt from FICA taxes, provided you’re enrolled full-time in school and work less than half-time.

No matter what income you receive throughout the year, you’ll want to make note of any earnings when you fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Your FAFSA helps determine how much aid you will receive in the upcoming year for school. You should always fill it out, even if you think you or your family make too much to qualify.

Do Students Qualify for Tax Benefits?

College students may qualify for some tax breaks, or benefits, as long as they’re attending an accredited university, college, vocational school, or adult education classes. There are two tax credits in particular students will want to be aware of, as they can help lessen your tax burden and help you pay off student loan debt while you’re still in school.

As a student, you’ll want to check out the American Opportunity Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit. While you can only apply for one credit per person (i.e. you and a sibling could qualify for each credit, but you yourself can’t claim both), these credits are very helpful toward reducing your tax burden.

If you’re a student currently paying off student loans, you can also qualify for the student loan interest deduction and the tuition and fees deduction. Here are additional tax credits which you may also qualify.

“Will I Pay Taxes on Scholarships or Grants?”

This will likely come as a relief to many of you: you do not have to pay taxes on scholarships and grants. Any scholarships you’ve received for merit, athletics, and more do not have to be included in your gross income on your tax return. This also includes fellowship grants, which many graduate students receive.

[Tweet “College students do not need to pay taxes on scholarships and grants!”]

Once you’ve determined if you need to pay taxes, and how much you need to pay (if anything), it’s time to file your taxes. If you’re a dependent, you can work with your parents and provide them any paperwork they need to complete their taxes. If you’re filing on your own, you can always e-file, likely for free since you’re a student and don’t make much money. In all likelihood, you won’t owe anything and you may even get a tax refund. That’s why it’s always important to file your taxes, even if you think you didn’t make enough of an income. Never leave money behind!

The tax code can be very complicated, regardless of your status as a student. See our Ultimate Tax Guide for more assistance.

Originally posted 2016-01-06 10:00:18.