Filing your 2020 taxes

Filing a tax return could mean you’ll get money back. Here are five things you can do that may help you maximize a tax refund if you’re owed one. Just a reminder, the tax filing deadline is April 15, 2021.

Know Your Dependency Status, If you’re still listed as a dependent on your parents’ tax return, you may not be able to claim those tax breaks.

Apply for Scholarships, Not only do scholarships provide you with free money to help pay for college costs, they’re also generally tax-free. That means they won’t be included as taxable income (unlike money you earn from a job) when it comes time to calculate your tax refund.

Get Extra Credit, Two federal tax credits are specifically designed for college students: The American opportunity tax credit and the lifetime learning credit.

Make Interest-Only Payments on Your Student Loans, You can deduct that interest paid from your income on your tax return, up to $2,500 a year. Again, this works only if a parent doesn’t claim you as a dependent, even if you were the one who made the payments.

Don’t Pay to File Your Tax Return, Most college students have relatively simple tax returns. You can go to to file or use a free online service like Credit Karma Tax. Filing online can make for a speedier refund check too!

Check out this recording from a Columbus area CPA on how to file taxes and basic forms most college students need. Find this video along with many other personal finance resources, all just a click away!