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4 Tax Tips for College Students

by South University
March 11, 2015 College students, follow these tips for surviving this year's tax season!

The April 15 tax deadline will be here before you know it! Are you prepared to file on time? This may seem like yet another to-do item on your already long list, but look at the up-side—being a student may help you to increase the return on your taxes! Here are 4 key tips that can help you navigate tax time this year.

tax form

1. Make sure you have your W2s

All W2s should have been provided to you by your employer(s) by February 2, 2015. A W2 contains information related to how much you earned, as well as how much you’ve already paid in taxes through withheld funds.

2. Get all the proper forms

Tax forms for federal and state taxes are readily available for download at as well as your state’s government website. Each form should also come with instructions. For federal taxes, Form 1040 is standard, but Form 1040A and Form 1040EZ are also common.

3. Don’t wait until the last minute

Avoid waiting until the night before the tax deadline to start doing your taxes. At minimum, give yourself a week to work on them a little each day. If you finish early, great – but if you need more time, you’ll have it. If you do finish early, take that extra time to check your math and make sure you completed (and signed!) everything you need to.

4. Compare education credits and deductions

Three main credits and deductions are available to those paying for their education. However, only one educational credit or deduction can be used during the tax season, so it is essential that you research all of your available credits and their benefits, then select the credit that is best for your situation. If you are paying on a student loan, don't forget that you can also deduct the interest paid up to $2,500.

Tuition and Fees tax deduction

• For qualified education expenses
• Can reduce your tax bill up to $4,000 based

Lifetime Learning Credit

• Up to $2,000 available
• You must earn less than $60,000 per year ($120,000 if married/filing jointly)
• Can be used for any post-high school education and non-degree classes taken to improve employment skills
• Can be used for tuition, fees, books, equipment and supplies
• Credit is capped at tax owed that year

American Opportunity Credit

• Up to $2,500 available
• You must earn less than $90,000 per year ($180,000 if married/filing jointly)
• Can only be used for first four years of college education
• Minimum of half time enrollment required
• Can be used for tuition, fees, books, equipment and supplies
• Up to $1,000 can still be received even if taxes are not owed

Follow these 4 tips to help you get through tax season with flying colors! Please visit for more of the latest information.

Tags: financial planning financial responsibility

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