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Thursday, April 2, 2015

[Growing Up, Going Up] Refund, Please! Taxes Tips and Answers

For the last week of our “Growing Up, Going Up” series, we had a workshop about filing taxes. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “There are only two certain things in life: death and taxes,” so it’s very important that we learn about this.
As you may or may not know, taxes are the money you pay to your local, state, and the federal government that is used to pay for things like schools, hospitals, roads, and other public services. People who work and make over a certain amount of money are mandated to pay taxes. The rules are over ~$6,200 if you’re being claimed by your parents, over ~$10,150 if you’re filing independently, and over $400 if you were paid in cash.
Many times, filing taxes feels scary because we don’t know all of the rules when it comes to filing. These are some quick things to remember:
  • Anytime you work for pay, you should receive a W4 form from your employer, which is a form that let’s your employer know how much money you want to withhold from your paycheck for taxes.
  • When you are ready to file taxes, you should receive either a W2, a 1099-MISC form (if you were paid in cash), a 1098-T form (if you are enrolled in an accredited institution), or any other government form from your employers in order to properly file taxes. These are official forms that show how much your earned (of paid in tuition) throughout the previous year. If you do not receive one, contact your employer or your school and they can resend it.
  • You can get file your taxes for free! Check out to see if you qualify for free tax services. If you’re feeling confident, you can also file your federal taxes for free from services like TurboTax. They will charge you to file state taxes though
  • When filing, make sure you have your social security card, photo ID, all of your tax documents, all receipts that for expenses you will claim, and your bank information for direct deposit if you have a bank account.
  • Taxes are due by April 15th!

This was a very informative workshop on such an important aspect of adulthood. Thank you to our guest facilitator, Lauren Coy, for giving us the 401 on taxes!







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