Whether it is the melting snow, the upcoming basketball tournaments or the promise of a nice tax refund, we can all expect our lives to get a little greener as April 15 approaches.
[cash] The convenience of the tax season coming on the heels of the consumer-driven holiday season is not lost on college students. Many strapped-for-cash co-eds look forward to the sight of a check in the mail from the IRS to help pay bills. “In the past, I’ve put the return I get into my bank account and use that to pay my bills,” animal science junior Annie Edgecomb said.
Students hoping to receive fast money to finance shopping sprees or spring break getaways should think about filing their taxes soon. East Lansing area tax preparation offices are already busy. So busy, in fact, at three different offices, no representatives were available to answer questions on general tax information; all were busy handling clients.
But don’t worry, there is help available elsewhere.[taxsb]
For those planning to file on their own, an informational tax clinic co-sponsored by MSU Federal Credit Union and the Women’s Resource Center, is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 24 from noon to 1 p.m. at the MSUFCU, 600 E. Crescent Rd. Charles Amboy, CPA and owner of a local accounting office, will provide tips and general information regarding individual tax preparation.
For those who still need help interpreting 1040 forms but cannot pay for professional services, campus agencies and online software can make the process simple, and even will calculate and file your taxes for you.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program on MSU’s campus can help with filing returns. Located in the Student Services Building, the program offers free tax assistance to individuals who earn under $31,000 per year and cannot prepare their own taxes. To schedule an appointment for free tax help, visit vita.msu.edu.
For international students, the MSU College of Law offers a free tax clinic. The clinic offers counseling, education and income tax return preparation for people for whom English is a second language. The office is located in the Campus Town Mall, 541 E. Grand River Ave., and walk-ins are welcome. To schedule an appointment, call (517) 336-8088.
[taxes] For easy online access, the State of Michigan Web site provides taxpayers with a number of e-filing services. These organizations calculate taxes for both federal and state returns, and they file that information electronically with their respective agencies. While some services charge a nominal user fee, most are free for those earning less than $28,000 per year.
So, once you file, all that’s left is to wait for your reimbursement, unless of course you’re one of the unfortunate few who ends up owing the government even more of your hard-earned cash.
But pre-nursing sophomore Laura Scherr is counting on that money to pay her rent…right?
“You know what? Screw that,” she decided. “I’m buying new shoes.”

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