What you need to know for Tax Day

Patrick Kane, World News Editor

Benjamin Franklin once said, “In this world nothing can be certain, except death and taxes.” And truer words have never been spoken.

Every year in mid-spring, the U.S. federal and each state government requires the vast majority of its citizens to file their income tax returns to determine whether or not they receive a refund or in fact owe the federal and state government money. As such, it is not a time of the year most people look forward to, myself included. 

Tax Day is traditionally on April 15 of each year, unless it falls on a weekend. However, in 2022, it falls on April 18, due to the 15th being Emancipation Day in Washington D.C., a federal holiday for the city. As such, it is a little less than one week until the filing deadline for your taxes.

Filing your taxes can be extremely hard and incredibly stressful and confusing, especially if you don’t know what it is you’re doing (which there is definitely a reason for). For students, this can get even more complicated, as for many of us, this may be the first time we are filing independently. As I said, it may be quite stressful. But there are options.

So, in the six days between now and Tax Day, there are many ways you can get taxes out of the way. First, a couple of tips:

  • If you made less than $12,400 in 2021, you are not required to file a tax return. However, you may want to, if only to get a refund and officially be on the books.
  • There are several different kinds of tax forms, most of which get sent to you in the mail. Here’s a handy guide.
  • If you receive financial aid from John Carroll, don’t forget your 1098-T, which can be found by going to your Banner account, and going into your Student Account.

In terms of actually filing and getting your taxes done, there are ways that you can do it for free. If you feel confident enough to do it yourself, and you only have a simple return, try one of these:

If you don’t have the confidence to do it yourself, or your return is a tad more complicated, try one of these:

  • The United Way of Cleveland offers free tax preparation to low-income people like students. All you have to do is call 211 and set up an appointment. NOTE: this is for Ohio residents only. Also, note that you do not necessarily get to choose the location and time, so be prepared to schedule and travel.
  • If you are able to, go into an actual tax prep location, like H&R Block or Jackson Hewitt. They will do it for you and answer any questions you may have, especially if you have a more complicated return. However, take it from me, if that is the route you want to pursue, be prepared to spend a pretty penny, because it won’t be cheap.
  • If you think you won’t be able to figure out your taxes by Monday the 18th, you can always file an extension, which pushes your income tax due date back to Oct. 15.

Nobody likes tax season, but it’s a mainstay of public life, so you might as well try to make it as easy as you can on yourself, especially as a college student. So don’t panic. Use the remainder of the week to make sure your house is in order, so you can either get a nice fat refund, or at least avoid prison for another year.