Tax season is coming to a close, and you now have less than two weeks to complete you income tax returns.
So, are you a little behind on filing your own income taxes?
Luckily, since April 15 falls on a Sunday and the District of Columbia celebrates Emancipation Day on April 16, you have a couple extra days to file those pesky forms.
Now that the good news is over, on to the not-so-good news. It’s going to take a little time to prepare to file.
Here are a few tips to get you started.
1. Find all your forms
There are many forms that you may need in order to file your taxes, but as a student, there are two that you must have: the W-2 and the 1098-T.
If you worked one or more jobs last year, your employers should have sent or given you a form know as a W-2. It contains all your pay information from that employer including total income earned, how much was withheld for federal and state income taxes, and how much was withheld for things like Social Security and Medicare.
As a student, you also have a form, known as a 1098-T, provided by Washburn. This form gives information about tuition paid to the university. If you cannot find it, the form can also be found in the Financial Services portion on MyWashburn.
2. Decide where to go to help you file
There are dozens of places to go to file your taxes. Popular sites such as TurboTax and H&R Block offer free, basic filing online. Many of these sites will offer you a paid option, but if you are only needing basic filing, you shouldn’t need to pay anything.
If you want to talk to a tax professional, there are several locations in Topeka that offer free tax assistance as well, including the Washburn Law School, Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Other locations offering free assistance can be found on the IRS website or by simply Googling “free tax prep.” Most of these places don’t require an appointment, but the slots fill up fast so it is recommended you get there early.
3. Bring your forms, answer some questions and file away
Get your forms together and go to the website or physical location you want to do your filing. Simply follow the instructions on the screen or listen to and talk to the person assistant helping you. There will be dozens of questions asked. Be patient and be honest with your answers, and the process should go smoothly.
4. Get your refund (hopefully)!
After you are done filing, with any luck, you may receive a refund. In other words, extra money that was sent to the government will be sent back to you. There are a few options for receipt your refund. If you have a bank account, you can choose to have the refund directly deposited there. You can also have the government sent you a check in the mail. You also have the option of having some of your refund put into U.S. Savings Bonds in increments of $50 or more.