Tax filing deadline looms

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April 15 is usually Tax Day but not this year, instead April 17 is the 2018 deadline to file taxes.

There are some benefits during tax season to ensure students can get some money back.

“With the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC), you can get an annual credit of $2,500 per eligible student for qualified education expenses, such as tuition,” Andrew Josuweit contributor to Forbes magazine said in his article “4 Valuable Tax Breaks for College Students.”

The American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) isn’t something that lasts for every semester.

Each student has only four years of their choosing to apply this credit.

“If I’m allowed to save it then yes definitely, but if not then I’ll take advantage of it while I can,” Delta student Vanessa Villanueva said.
Some college students have never heard of this tax break.

“No, I haven’t, but it would’ve been nice to have been educated on prior to me starting college considering I’m a full-time student that has to work a part time job to pay for college,” said Villanueva.

As far as other tax information, the IRS website shows information for the Lifetime Learning Credit also known as the LLC.

Qualifications to be eligible for the LLC include, according to the IRS:
• “Be enrolled or taking courses at an eligible educational institution.
• Be taking higher education course or courses to get a degree or other recognized education credential or to get or improve job skills.
• Be enrolled for at least one academic period beginning in the tax year.”

The LLC credit can be worth 20 percent of the first 10,000 dollars of qualified education or $2,000 maximum based on return. The LLC isn’t refundable.

If you already did your taxes, make sure to take note of any information to make sure you look into these tax benefits for next year.

And if you’re a student who still has to do their taxes make sure you meet the new deadline of April 17, and ask a tax professional to see if you qualify for any of these benefits.

“If you have a job with wages, you may have a refund if there was withholding, but you don’t owe. If they are withholding. If you make six thousand and have 800 withheld, you need to file to see if you get it all back,” certified financial planner Christopher Olsen said.

Taxes are briefly covered in high school for seniors but beyond that not many young people know beyond a W2 form.

“I believe it’s really important that students are brought more information regarding tax credit to help fund for college expenses,” Delta student Jacob Pico said.

Other more user friendly online services are also available like TurboTax and can save a young person in college some cash and is actually recommended.

When asked if Olsen thought online services like TurboTax was beneficial for young people, he agreed.

“Just the cost of a tax preparer, it can cost $300 for a professional or $70 for TurboTax,” said Olsen.