With April here, many are feeling the pressure of tax season. For those who have procrastinated or are just confused about how and what they need to file your taxes as a college student, look no further. Our biggest concerns when tax season comes around are “how much am I going to get back?” how much do I owe?” and “can I even file my taxes if my parents claim me?” Del Mar College Professor Adelfino Palacios, a certified public accountant, has the answers.
Students must first figure out if their parents are claiming them as a dependent. Usually an unmarried student gets claimed until they are 24 years old
“As a student, the main thing that you’re worried about is if you’re going to be claimed by your parents or not; that seems to be the biggest issue. So, you need to coordinate with your parents to see whether or not you’re going to be claimed as a dependent because that affects your parents’ tax return and also the student’s tax return,” Palacios said.
After you have determined that you must then gather up your college tuition and expenses for the college year so that you can write that off as what is called an education expense.
“There is an education credit for college courses that one takes; it’s a pretty sizeable credit. So whoever claims that student, whether it would be the parents or the student, they are entitled to that credit. Please be sure that whoever is preparing your taxes is aware that you are taking college courses,” Palacios said.
Lastly, you must determine if you worked while attending college. If you did then a tax return is needed to be filed with your W-2 and 1098-T for both work and college.
“If they didn’t work and just went to school, then they don’t need to file, but if they worked and went to school then it is very important to file a tax return,” Palacios said.
If you’re looking to get your taxes done for free, head to Room 201 or 206 in the Venters Building on East Campus from 1-6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays through April 13. Be sure to bring your driver’s license or Texas identification card, Social Security number, birthdates of your dependents and W-2 forms.
The deadline to file 2016 taxes is midnight Monday April 18.