Students give advice on how to file taxes for the first time

Experienced students reccomend the novice students to take advantage of online resources to help with their first time filing their taxes. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) research staff, more than 230 million tax returns are done each year. With so many of those being done by novice students, the idea of taking that next step into adulthood can be nerve-wracking. 

According to, tax season began on Jan. 29 and will extend until April 17. Right in the thick of the spring semester, the idea to add filing taxes to one’s to-do can be daunting. 

Michael Alfaro, a sophomore majoring in business management, will experience filing his taxes for the first time this year.

“When thinking about filling our taxes in the future, I get nervous thinking about all the work that goes into them,” Alfaro said. “It is a lot of numbers and math, and I’m nervous I might mess up.” 

Zachary Cruz, a sophomore majoring in mass communications, has been filing his taxes since he started working part-time in high school. He has found the perfect way to avoid stress and get through tax season in a breeze.

“Go to TurboTax to start your taxes,” Cruz said. “It’s easy to fill out and start.”

By following directions, Cruz no longer faces the jitters of the adult task.

“Just make sure to follow the directions and answers the questions the best you can,” Cruz said. “The website walks you through everything to make sure you get the biggest refund.”

Apps and online websites can be helpful tools for students that aren’t sure how to start. Taylor Wenz, a sophomore majoring in environmental science and policy, suggests students should take advantage of those resources as an easy way to fit filing taxes into a busy schedule. 

“It’s really a lot more simple than you think,” Wenz said. “There are tools online you can use like TurboTax, H&R Block and others that can help you file. Usually they are free and you just enter in your basic information as well as your tax info, and it basically files it for you.”

Some students, however, avoid taxes like it’s pulling teeth and won’t go until it’s absolutely necessary. 

Samantha Lutrin, a sophomore majoring in political science and philosophy, is waiting for graduation to start the yearly process.

“Filling out my taxes appears to be the next step into adulthood which I am not ready to make,” Lutrin said. “It takes my parents hours to do, and I don’t feel like I have that kind of time. I will most likely fill them out on my own for the first time once I graduate college.”

For those overwhelmed by the thought of messing up, having someone accustomed to the yearly process can ease anxieties. Wenz had the help of her grandfather. 

“The first time I did my taxes I was nervous too, but luckily I had my grandpa to help me with it,” Wenz said.

Many websites like USA Today College, have sections to help college students filing for the first time. From what types of forms they most likely will have to fill out to the uncertainties of filing as a dependent or independent, there are answers for everything.