Tax season is here.
Because Emancipation Day is observed on April 15 this year, the due date to file taxes this year is April 18. For anyone not financially inclined, doing taxes may be hard the first time.
You have to fill out forms and make sure you have all the appropriate information and documents. Filing taxes may seem difficult, but it is really a simple task.
“If you have a simple financial life, taxes are not hard,” said Dr. Kris Martin, chair of the Division of Accounting.
Martin said while tax forms look intimidating because of how many blank spaces there are, many students have to fill in only about two lines at most.
When gathering the information you need, if you work for someone else, the most important document you need is a W2 form. A W2 form is basically a receipt that shows the amount of taxes taken from your paycheck during the year.
The trickiest part of doing your taxes comes from just sitting down and doing it for the first time.
Mr. Jeff Bryson, an accounting professor who has already coached some students on doing taxes, said a basic walkthrough with someone experienced is a good place to start.
“You need a little coaching the first time,” Bryson said. “But I think you could learn it very well and do it by yourself maybe the second time.”
Both Bryson and Martin highly recommend using tax software.
Martin said tax software such as TurboTax will guide you through filling out a form and weeding out which questions you do or do not need to answer.
Programs like these make filling out a tax form simplified and less intimidating.
TurboTax products range in price from $40 to $100.
If you are within a certain income threshold, the IRS will supply tax software for free. On IRS.gov, search for free filing, and you’ll find options for free tax software to download.
James Labadorf, a junior accounting student, uses TurboTax to handle his tax filing and said filing taxes shouldn’t be a big problem for BJU students.
If you are having trouble knowing eactly what to do next, Labadorf said asking questions helps. Talking with professors or other students who have experience is a good strategy during the process.
“A lot of times they know how to handle it, or they know how to figure out how to handle it,” Labadorf said.
Martin recommends students file their taxes as soon as possible in order to get tax refunds quickly.
If filed later, around April, bottlenecks occur, which can cause a longer waiting period before receiving your refunds.