Students can benefit from filling tax return

Wednesday was tax deadline for filing either taxes or an extension, and in this recession economy, money is on everyone’s mind.’

‘ As college students, most of us receive some kind of financial aid through loans, grants or scholarships.’ Pell grants, federal student loans and certain kinds of scholarships are paid for by taxes.

Research grants such as the $5.2 million DARPA bone putty monies and even basic university funding comes from our federal tax money.

As students, we’ll be graduating into an economy with an incomprehensively large $12 trillion plus budget as of 2009, according to projections at http://www.federalbudget.com.

Of the total federal budget, the departments of Health and Human Services, Defense, and Treasury will spend the largest portions of federal monies. ‘

The most onerous portion of 2008 taxes in Houston was disaster relief.’ For Houston residents who had pricey repair work or who are still coping with Hurricane Ike damage, seeing the Midwest Disaster Area tax break was startling.

Instead of a tax deduction, Texans were eligible in 2008 for a further extension for those taxpayers who had filed a 2007 tax extension. Those taxes, instead of being due in October of 2008 were delayed until Jan. 2009, sans interest.

Yet, all this economic strain notwithstanding, there are breaks for students. We have the good old Earned Income Credit, good for a couple of hundred dollars, the Lifetime Learning credit and the Hope credit. ‘

A real benefit to filing taxes for students beyond developing a familiarity with more complicated paperwork, is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.’

The application, available online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov, is the key to federal student aid, and a great way to reclaim some of those funds your fellow Americans have paid in.’ And you can enjoy these benefits before you’re 65.

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