FREE Tax Preparation for Students!

It’s that time of the year again!  Tax season is in full swing, and the filing deadline is coming up on Monday, April 18.  Whether you’ve filed before or not, you may have many questions regarding filling out a tax return and need assistance doing so.  Fortunately, the UNL Center for Civic Engagement coordinates the Lancaster County VITA Coalition which assists college students and lower income residents with filing their taxes.
Many students wonder whether or not they need to file.  Here’s the brief answer: if you worked at all this past year and had income taxes withheld you should file because you might receive a refund.  There are some cases where you MUST file if:
  • You received scholarships and/or grants that you used for expenses other than tuition and fees (i.e. room and board, personal expenses, etc.)
  • -You are a dependent and unearned income was over $1,050 OR your earned income was over $6,300 OR your earned and unearned income is more than the greater of (1) $1,050 or (2) earned income plus $350
  • -You are not a dependent, single, and made at least $10,300 in income.

The following link lists the sites where tax filing assistance is offered, including one site at the UNL East Campus Union. Days and time available are also listed.  Walk-ins are welcome; however, it may be busy and there’s no guarantee you’ll be served right away.

For more information on the Lancaster County VITA Coalition and other important tax info, check out the link to our website:

Make sure to get started ASAP; as stated earlier, the deadline for filing is MONDAY, APRIL 18.  And don’t forget!  If you do get a return, here are some ideas of what you can do with the extra cash:

  • Pay down debt (ex: credit cards, student loans, etc.)
  • -Put it towards your emergency fund
  • -Start saving for an upcoming trip, studying abroad, or other goal
Happy filing!

Post written by Amanda Owens, SMMC Program Assistant