5 Things Students Need To Know When Doing Taxes

There’s no end to the new responsibilities you will need to face when you enter adulthood.

Although you are still in school and furthering your education, reaching the age of majority means that you are ultimately responsible for filing your taxes.

You may have spent your entire life listening to your parents grumble about filing taxes. The fact is that the process is pretty straightforward and easy to do.

Being prepared is the key to successfully filing your taxes as a college student and maximizing your return.

Here is what you need to know when doing your taxes:

1. Gather Your Paperwork

In order to have your taxes filed efficiently and properly, you need to make sure you have all of the necessary paperwork.

This includes all T4s from all of your jobs as well as any other forms pertaining to income.

Accurately reporting your income will ensure you get the correct refund amount.

2. Know What You Are Eligible For

Instead of breezing through your tax returns and missing out on tax advantages, knowing what you are eligible for will help you to maximize your return.

You can claim public transit costs as well as textbook amounts, child care costs and eligible moving expenses.

Also, don’t forget about your tuition tax credits. Your tuition costs, and interest paid on your student loans, can be claimed on your taxes.

3. Keep Your Address Up-To-Date

If you’ve moved away from home to attend school, you’ll have to make sure to update your address with your country’s tax agency (CRA in Canada and IRS in the United States).

While a lot of correspondence regarding taxes is done online through your personal account (with the CRA or IRS), it’s important to ensure important documents can be mailed to you if necessary.

Also, you want to make sure all the information you send with your return is accurate to avoid audits and potential penalties.

4. You Can File Online

As previously mentioned, you have access through a personal tax account that not only allows you to receive messages but lets you file your taxes electronically as well.

Tax programs such as TurboTax will actually walk you through the entire process, check for inconsistencies or hidden tax claims, and file the return directly to the CRA or IRS.

Having online access is also useful as well, since you can check on the status of your refund as well as any pending credits (such as GST in Canada). You can also set up direct deposit to avoid waiting for a refund check to be mailed.


5. Your Parents Can Do Your Taxes

While filing your taxes is a fairly straightforward task, it could be one more thing on your plate as a college student. Between studying and possibly working, you may not find the time.

Ultimately, you could end up filing late or missing out on tax benefits by rushing through the process.

As long as you designate your parent, or other adult, as your representative, they can file taxes on your behalf.

However, this would be a great opportunity to sit down with your parents to see exactly how taxes are done.

Additional Resources

To learn how taxes are filed, and how you can benefit on your taxes by being a student, check out these links for more information:

Internal Revenue Services – Tax Information for Students

Canada Revenue Agency – Students and Taxes

The sooner you delve into the world of taxes, the easier they will be as you progress into your future.

For more great college tips, check out the other blogs on CollegeXperience.

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