26 Must-Have Resources for Surviving Tax Season

It’s everybody’s favorite time of year: tax time.

Who are we kidding? The majority of individuals across the nation dread this time of year. And who’s to blame them? You know the saying about death and taxes being the only things certain in life? Well, they’re equally certain, and also equally depressing. Until now, that is.

We’ve rounded up some of the best informational resources and articles on the web about taxes. Once you’re done with these, you will be so well-equipped to handle your taxes (and get your well-deserved tax return check) that you'll hardly be able to contain your enthusiasm.

We have divided the links into three categories: Taxes 411, Taxes and Student Loans, and Tax Resources. Spend some time browsing through all of them; with all the good stuff we’ve put in here, you will walk away a happy, informed, and tax savvy consumer.

Taxes 411

Income TaxMoney 101: Lesson on Taxes

Part of CNN Money’s ‘Money 101’ series is this lesson on taxes, which covers all the beginner basics. From providing answers to the top tax questions to explaining your tax bracket, from giving tax planning advice to explaining an audit, this inclusive lesson is a valuable resource for anyone wanting to beef up their tax know-how.

How to File Your First Tax Return

If this is your first year filing taxes, do not fret! From forms to deductibles, this article simplifies everything you need to know as a first-timer.

Tax Preparation Checklist

This useful checklist will help you get organized as you begin to prepare your income tax return, and it will clue you in on all the relevant information and paperwork you will need to do so successfully.

When Does a College Student Need to File a Tax Return?

Are you a student and are unsure if you need to file a tax return? Consult this list of typical situations for when a student would need to file and may owe taxes.

Get Organized for the IRS

If you’re an OCD organizer, or aspire to be one, then you’ll enjoy this article on setting up an easy, organized filing system for all your IRS related documents.

How Do Tax Brackets Work?

Tax brackets are essential to understanding how much tax you will owe, so if you aren’t sure of your bracket or how they work, this article will bring you up to speed.

A Dozen Tax Tips for College Students

Bankrate aims to give college students a break from the never-ending onslaught of exams by providing their 12 top tips for easy, smooth and successful tax filing.

57 Avoidable Tax Mistakes

You may be a beginner to taxes, but you don’t have to make rookie mistakes. Learn from the errors of previous generations of tax novices with this ‘what-not-to-do’ list—a unique twist on the typical prep checklists and a good reference to use when tax time rolls around.

Tax Tips for Students: How to Safely File Your 1040 Online

Just like everything else, taxing must adapt to new online technology. Here is an article for students about taking the proper steps to ensure that online filing is a safe, secure and easy option for your taxes.

Applying All the Right Reductions to Increase That Return

There are very few enjoyable things about filing your taxes, but one consolation is that you’re able to get a portion of your money back if you fill out your tax return correctly. This article reminds you about a few different deductibles to include in order to get the most out of your tax return.

7 Basic Tax Strategies for Salaried Employees

As a job-holding individual, it’s painful to watch a portion of your hard-earned paycheck go to Uncle Sam every month. Fortunately, your employment status qualifies you for some tax advantages. Read this article for tips on how you can make the most out of your tax return as a salaried employee.

How Long Will it Take to Get Your Tax Refund?

If you’re anxious to get your hands on your tax refund, then the time leading up to its arrival can seem like forever, especially when you don’t have an ETA. Curb your anticipation by consulting this article, which provides a time chart for when you will receive your refund, based on when you sent it.

8 Smart Things to Do With Your Tax Refund

So you successfully filed your tax return and a check should be arriving in your mailbox any day now—but what to do with the refund money? Here are a couple financially sound ideas to help you maximize your return.

When You Should Mail or Postmark Your Tax Return

You’ve grown up in the generation of email, so chances are that even if you know the tax filing deadline date, you probably didn’t consider the ‘snail mail’ factor of submitting your taxes. This article tells you how to get them to the Franchise Tax Board on time and what to do if they are going to be late.

Can't Pay Taxes, It'll Cost You

In college, it’s easy get away with a few instances of procrastination, and you can always rely on a sympathetic professor to forgive you for ‘forgetting’ to turn in a paper—but don’t assume that this translates to taxes. There are harsh penalties for skipping your taxes, so if you are trying to justify your reason for not paying them, this article will make you think twice.

What is the Fair Tax Act Explained: Pros and Cons

Understanding current tax legislation is an important part of your role as a consumer. A hot topic right now is the Fair Tax Plan; this article lays it out for you in understandable terms and gives you valid points to consider by arguing both the pros and the cons.

What Needs to Be Reported On Your Taxes

This quick read sums up everything that you should report on your tax return. If you are still a bit unclear about what you should include, then this is a good article to clarify your understanding or refresh memory.

Where to Find Free Tax Help, Information and Advice

This article discusses where to find tax preparation assistance, for free or for a relatively low cost, and breaks down the accessibility to certain aid resources by the tax payers total income bracket.

The College Tax Breaks Explained

‘The College Tax Breaks Explained’ gives a rundown of the different types of noteworthy tax breaks available to individuals in college or anyone supporting a college student.

Taxes and Student Loans

Tax Text BookCollege Tax Deduction and Education Tax Credit Information

The Student Loan Network offers an easy-to-navigate, comprehensive guide to education tax credit as outlined by the IRS. This is a great resource for understanding everything you need to know about college tax deduction.

Borrower Tax Incentives

The ASA presents an overview of student loan borrower tax incentives. It may overlap in information  presented in the link above, but it still covers some valuable points and is worth checking out.

Working With Tax Deductions For Student Loans

Another informational resource on how to work with tax deductions for student loans, brought to you by Collegescholarships.org. In addition to explaining tax deductions, it is also a good place to learn about all things student loans.

Tax Resources

Taxes Too High Vanity PlateUnderstanding Taxes For Students

The IRS has dedicated an entire area of their website to helping students gain a solid grasp of their own taxes. With 38 lessons, 14 self-paced tutorials, and numerous interactive tax-related activities, students are taught real-world application of tax principles and gain essential background knowledge on tax history and theory.

Tax Glossary

Financial jargon can be incredibly frustrating, especially if it is preventing you from the task at hand. Kiplinger’s tax glossary will clarify any confusion with A-Z definitions for every important tax term, and hopefully take (at least some of) the pain out of doing your taxes.  

Your Complete Guide to Free Tax Tools

Don't let tax time stress you out. There are numerous tools out there to help make the filing process easier on you. This article from MainStreet.com provides a comprehensive guide to the best, free tax tools available.

Tax Resource Center

For anyone who likes to play around with numbers, these calculators in AOL’s Daily Finance Tax Resource Center will help you estimate relevant tax-related outcomes, including your tax refund, IRA contributions, paycheck withholdings, and the tax impact of life events.

The Importance of Tax Planning (Video)

Although less than 2 minutes long, this short video by Kiplinger covers some key points emphasizing the importance of tax planning. If you have a moment, check it out. You might learn something new.

About the Author: Mackenzie Maher

Mackenzie Maher graduated in 2010 from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a BA in Global Studies and a minor in Professional Writing, with an editing emphasis. Mackenzie’s diverse portfolio also includes writing, editing, photography, and documentary script writing on such subjects as travel, career, and finance. Next to writing, she is most passionate about world travel (she has visited 24 countries).

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