Tips for students filing a tax return

Insights about how to file taxes



Robert McRill


Students can use several methods to file their taxes. Though filing is not always hassle-free, there are steps that can be taken to ensure that the process will not be overly stressful.

First, all necessary tax documents should be procured before sitting down to do taxes. More importantly, employees must obtain a W-2 from their employers. An individual with more than one job must be sure that they have more than one W-2 form – one for each position. A W-2 form simply shows the amount of the taxes that have been withheld from paychecks throughout the year.

Those expecting incomes from any source not be covered by a W-2 form should receive a 1099 form. The 1099 form is used to report taxable income such as bank interest and self-employment. This means that anyone with a savings account will be racking up interest and, as it is considered taxable income, will need to report it to the IRS.

If an inaccurate tax return form is filed then it will have to be amended; amending a tax return that has already been sent in costs both time and money. Therefore, ensuring that all of the pieces are available beforehand is largely beneficial.

Second, there are multiple tax forms and it is important to ensure that the correct tax form is being completed based upon the qualifications of the individual taxpayer. Most students qualify for use of the 1040EZ, though some may need to use the 1040A or the 1040. The 1040 can be used to solve any tax problem and everyone is eligible to use it.

Be sure to utilize one of the many “do-it-yourself” online tax programs instead of hiring an expensive tax professional. Filing taxes at home is arguably the easiest method. Most programs will walk the taxpayer through the filing process step-by-step and then submit the tax form to the IRS. According to, nearly 50 percent of taxpayers file their taxes electronically online.

There are many tax-filing programs out there; currently the best-selling tax software is called TurboTax. When it comes to filing a tax return, TurboTax is quick and easy; find out more at There are also several different ways to file using programs provided by the IRS; more information can be found at


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Tips for students filing a tax return

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