Tax season is here: Next steps

Where to go, what to do, who to ask


Blanca Reyes, Editor-in-Chief

It’s the season when Uncle Sam requires all people who make enough money to file a tax return, and college students are no exception. The deadline for filing this year is April 18.

Although the process might seem intimidating, and most students might not make enough money to even be required to file, it is still important to file a tax return with the Internal Revenue Service. It’s a valuable skill to learn, plus, depending on different factors, they might receive a financial surprise … Uncle Sam might send money back.

According to, the IRS recommends that even students not legally obligated to file tax returns can receive money back. And it’s a good introduction to adulthood.

For people who file taxes, some options will help them to make the process less confusing and less painful. Students can pay companies such as H&R Block to help them with the paperwork, to use programs such as Turbo Tax, which walk the user through the whole process. College students and other people can even call IRS or visit if they have any questions or to see if they qualify for free file-guided tax preparation.

“If your adjusted gross income (AGI) was $73,000 or less, review each provider’s offer to make sure you qualify. Some offers include a free state tax return,” according to

David Martinez, a Richland student who used to work for Amazon, uses TurboTax because it is very user-friendly.

“It just helps me instruct where I need to look on my tax forms and stuff. And then you just kind of plug in the numbers in where they’re asking for and what box corresponds the digits of your tax form. And that’s pretty much it,” Martinez said.

If tax filers qualify for a refund from the IRS they can start a savings account, invest in the stock market, or even use it to make a payment on their credit cards or student loans. Even though most of the time the money will not be enough to pay off any debt completely, it could help to finish paying off the debt faster and could also save the student some interest.

This is the third year Martinez filed a tax return, and this year, he is using that extra money in a smarter way.

“I messed up the first year, I just started to go buy some personal things. But this time I was just like that I need to keep it in my savings,” Martinez said.

Although the process can be difficult, there are nonprofit organizations that can help with tax preparation in the Dallas area.

Dallas Community Tax Centers, or DCTC, is a nonprofit organization that helps people from low-income to file taxes. United Way of Metropolitan Dallas and the City of Dallas, among other partners, can help students to file taxes, according to

If students decide to do their own taxes, there are software programs that can help with this.

According to, the best software program to file taxes in 2023 is TurboTax, which has a free version, but also a paid one if the user wants to receive help through the process to avoid mistakes.

Another one is Jackson Hewitt, which is free and if users need more assistance, they can buy the paid version for $25 and up. TaxSlayer is another. This program has a free version, but it is also the cheapest if users want help. It costs $22.46 for the paid version.

Usually programs such as TurboTax warn users about possible mistakes and ask users to double check the information before sending the forms to the IRS.

“When I use TurboTax, it says always double check and then, sometimes, I do double check. Last year, I messed up something, like something small digit, and it was adding up,” Martinez said. “I just went back and fixed it, and everything was good.”

Even though filing taxes can be a stressful process, it is something students can learn from and have financial benefits that help them with their debts.

“I think you should do your own taxes so that you have an idea how to do it. Of course, there are going to be people that work in tax firms that will help you to do it more advance and they can somehow get you more money from the deductible … but I think it’s a good learning skill that you should learn as an adult,” Martinez said.