Death & taxes

Elizabeth Rund

With a little help, filling out forms doesn’t have to be a complicated process


Credit: Adam Griffiths

To add to the many student frustrations of looming deadlines for papers and exams, April 15 is another date for students to dread: Taxes are due.

The process of filing tax returns can be challenging for even the most intelligent of people, not to mention those who have never done it before.

One of the most notoriously frustrating parts of filing taxes is filling out the forms, said Gary Vojtush, freshman education major.

“I think that they (taxes) should be easier to file and made much more convenient for people,” Vojtush said.

With all the different forms to fill in and all the calculations to make, filing can be downright confusing. Fortunately for Vojtush and other students, help is always within reach – and not always capitalized on.

“We don’t get a lot of college students coming in here,” said Maryellen Hinchman, a consultant at the Kent H&R Block.

Hinchman, who has been working at H&R Block for seven years, said Ohio has a unique tax system. Ohio taxes income on a graduated scale, which means the more income a person makes, the more taxes he or she will pay. Hinchman also said there are a lot of credits the average person may not be aware of.

The H&R Block Web site ( offers a variety of resources to those who want to file their own taxes. The site provides information and answers to questions on everything from planning for college to retirement – even a personalized tax calculator. For a fee, H&R Block also offers online assistance with a consultant.

Students can bring in forms to any branch if they have questions. Consultants will look over all the forms and make corrections or point out places where deductions or credits could be made.

On its Web site,, the IRS also offers tips on filing and filling out forms, information and downloadable forms. The site also allows users to look up nearby tax centers in case they have any questions or concerns.

Although paper forms are still popular, both H&R Block and the IRS advocate filling tax returns online. Filing online makes the process a bit simpler, but it could still be easier.

“The best tip I can give college students is to talk to their parents before filing,” Hinchman said. “It is not beneficial to file separate returns from parents because by law if you are under 24 and a full-time student, your parents could claim you as a dependent.”

Contact features correspondent Elizabeth Rund at [email protected].