Taxes 101? If you don’t remember that being required in your prerequisites, it’s because it wasn’t. But face it, we’ve all got to adult some time and file our taxes. Kinda like a study guide for exams, we’ve come up with a tax guide for you.

What’s your status… and no not your relationship status.

Are you depending on your parents? Or are you i-n-d-e-p-e-n-d-e-n-t, do you know what that means? You may love that independent status, but the ideal situation for those who hold the role of “student” may be claiming yourself a dependent on your parent’s’ tax return. Being a dependent isn’t a bad thing in this case. While claiming dependent you can get the most support from the IRS.

Forms… yes there’s more of those

There’s a chance you’ll move around while away at college, so the best place to get these sent is your permanent address (so yes, ma and pa’s).

W-2: These come from your employer, containing all taxes taken from your paycheck.

Form 1098-T: You know all that money you give to the institution you’re attending? That large number on this form is your tuition statement, which your college will provide, including all the information you need to claim education credits.

Mo’ Deductions… Mo’ money

While attending college you can benefit from a wide variety of provisions to cut your taxes or your parents’.

You, the college student, or your parents if they claim you as a dependent, can deduct up to $4,000 for tuition, fees for enrollment and course materials (yes, that $200 book you opened twice). Bad news bears, your transportation, rent, food and new computer aren’t considered qualified expenses… whomp whomp.

We won’t claim to be tax experts, but keeping these simple tips in mind will prepare you when meeting with your tax consultant before the dreaded deadline, April 15.