UW Graduate School

March 20, 2018

Find tax help as a grad student

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This Guru post has been updated from a previous inquiry. Happy filing!

Filing taxes seems more complicated than it should be, and there seems to be no help from the university, despite the fact that many graduate students have very similar tax situations. What’s the best way to file to maximize our return (where do we put student fees and union dues and all of the other things that we can claim to reduce our tax liability)? Are there good tax help resources available?  —Anonymous

Why are taxes so complicated? Albert Einstein once said, “The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.” Anyway, yes, the UW does provide tax help! Student Fiscal Services is holding student tax workshops specifically for graduate students Friday, March 23, 1:30—2:30 p.m. and Thursday, April 5, 1:30–2:30 p.m. Additional workshops are offered for U.S. Residents and Non-U.S. Residents. All workshops are held at UW Seattle, Odegaard 220.

Also, the Seattle Public Library offers one-on-one tax help at various branches. United Way offers free help at a few additional sites, including at the UW, where they’ve partnered with your peers in the MS Tax Program. No appointment necessary: drop by Mackenzie Hall Room 132 on Mondays and Wednesdays, 4—7 p.m., and Fridays noon–3 p.m. The Guru has used this service, and can attest that it’s very helpful. (You must have made less than $66,000 in 2017 to be eligible for their free help. Probably not a problem for grad students?) Good luck!

“Taxation with representation ain’t so hot either.” —Gerald Barzan, humorist

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