Did you know that some of your paycheck goes to State and Federal taxes? On top of that, 6.75% goes to Social Security and Medicare taxes (Adams-Mott, 2019). In other words, if you earned $600 over the course of the 2 weeks, and have $130.50 deducted for taxes, you may have a remainder of $469.50 showing on your paycheck. In the course of a year, you would pay thousands of dollars in taxes! Now you might question if it’s possible to get those funds back or at least some. The answer is yes, it’s possible! A lot of students who earn a low income are allowed to file taxes for free and receive a refund. At the beginning of every job that you work, your employer will hand you an I-9 to verify your ability for employment and a W-4 for your tax withholdings. At the end of the year, your employer will send you a W-2 form for you to use to file taxes. Be sure to keep this W-2! (This will be critical, especially if you are flagged for financial aid verification).
According to Martha C. White, editor for Time Magazine, over 13% of 2,200 survey respondents said that they’ve considered not filing their taxes because it’s too complicated. Another 17% said that they guess on some numbers while filing the tax return. A lot of students who are employed choose to not file taxes because their annual income is not high enough and it’s complicated. There are many resources available for low income people to file taxes for free, such as The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, VITA. VITA provides free tax services for anyone who earns less than $55,000 annually. Isabela Valentina, a graduate student studying for her Masters in Accounting said, “Regardless if you earn a lot during the year, you still have federal taxes withheld from your income, and you will most likely get all those taxes refunded to you because of a lower income level!” So start filing your taxes! Don’t miss out on possibly getting a refund check that you worked hard all year for! Learn more at IRS.gov.