Do I actually need to file my taxes?

 This is a big question from college students – they are still being mostly supported by their parents but they are often earning money from their part time jobs as well.

  • If you make less than 6,100/yr you generally don’t have to file income taxes, or below 10,000 if your parents don’t claim you as a dependent.
  • You can file anyway though, because a certain amount of money is probably withheld from your paycheck to pay taxes, and if you don’t file for it, you don’t get it!
  • Be consistent with whether or not you are claimed as a dependent of your parents – they can only do that if they are paying at least ½ of your expenses, and if they claim you, you need that on your tax forms too.

What do I need to have to file taxes for the first time?

  • Forms you will receive in the mail:
    • W-2 from your employer
    • 1099-INT for bank interest from a savings account
  • Supporting information you will need to have on-hand/collect through out the year:
    • Social Security numbers
    • Receipts of your donations to charity