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The Northerner

Tax returns a helpful boost for students

Alyson Schoenung, Staff writer

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No matter who helps them file, students find a way to get money back

The mention of filing taxes can bring on a headache for anyone who already knows the agony associated with the process. But for many students at NKU, the headache gets passed to their parents, who file their taxes for them.

Many students are filing their own taxes for the first time, so some do it themselves, some seek help from businesses such as H&R Block, and, again, others have their parents do it for them.

After speaking with a few students, it was common that the method of tax filing was often passing the responsibility to one’s parents.

One student, Ryan Krebiehl, said he had five W2’s to file, or more accurately, his mom had five W2’s to file. Having more than one W2 is a common trend among students, as many of them have multiple jobs or switch between seasonal jobs frequently throughout the year.

After having one’s taxes filed, the next question is: What are you going to do with your tax return?

Polling random students across campus made it obvious that some depend on their returns from the very beginning and others don’t even remember that they exist and look at the money as a bonus.

Krebiehl, a junior creative writing major, is one who has planned to save his returned money.

“I am low on money from moving away from home last semester,” he said.
However, not everyone has such modest plans for their return.

“I’m going to use it multiple ways,” said Beth Volpenhein, an NKU graduate student. One way was to pay for her spring break trip to Florida.

“I’m also going to use it to fund some of my summer adventures, such as skydiving, which I’ve always wanted to do.”

Similar to Volpenheim, junior exercise science major Donovan Washington said he might use some of his tax return to buy new clothes, as opposed to saving every little bit.

The freedom of getting to choose what one does with their tax return can be somewhat troubling for some students. Some might even seek professional advice.

The bursar does offer some helpful advice to students including links on its website that advise how to manage money, borrow responsibly and balance a checkbook, however; there is nothing specifically aimed at helping students spend their tax return wisely.

Students like junior sports business major Kelsey Stellman said NKU should offer more tax return advice, but said she might not use the services offered.

“I could probably use some advice, but I don’t see myself seeking it out,” she said.

Tax returns can bring a smile to college students but can also cause their heads to spin when deciding just what’s the best way to use it. Many banks, including Citizen’s Bank, list advice for students on their websites on how to make the most of their tax return.

One important piece of advice listed on Citizen’s Bank website, also often recounted by professors throughout the semester is, “Start as early as possible.” The list details ways in which students can get the most money back during tax filing through education-related tax benefits available.

Throughout all the students’ responses, it’s clear that whatever the amount of thereturn, its existence is appreciated even if the process to receive it is a pain.

 

Tax Saving Tips for Students from Citizen’s Bank

1. Go on and file.
If you are getting a paycheck that has taxes withheld, you are eligible to file a tax return. This could score you some extra cash, in the form of a tax refund.

2. Utilize your resources.
If you need help filing your taxes, there are some free ways to do it. Talk to your college’s Accounting Department to see if they offer help or visit the IRS website ( www.irs.gov ) for information and free e-filing if you qualify.

3. Don’t wait until April 15th.
Start as early as possible. This allows you to be a bit more relaxed and also gives you time to correct any issues and double check your filing forms.

4. Give yourself credit.
Students (or parents paying their tuition) may be eligible for these education-related tax benefits:
Hope Scholarship Credit
American Opportunity Credit
Lifetime Learning Credit
Student Loan Interest Deduction
Tuition and Fees Deduction

5. Talk to your parents.
If your parents have provided more than half of your support for the year, they are entitled to claim you as a dependent. That also means they’ll be able to take advantage of the education-related tax benefits mentioned above.

6. School state, home state, different states? I
If you are going to school in one state but you call another state “home,” you might be required to file taxes for both, especially if you are receiving a paycheck while at school and over the summer in your home state. Check each state’s website or the IRS’s website for specific details.

7. Copy that.
Make sure you keep copies of all of your tax information including W-2’s and filing forms. You may need this information in the future.

8. Be direct.
If you do have a tax refund coming, and want the cash as quick as possible, choose to have the money directly deposited into your existing bank account.

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
Tax returns a helpful boost for students