Taxes for Individual Students
While ASUO Student Legal Services can’t provide filing assistance or tax advice, most UO students are eligible for services from the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA).
What is VITA?
VITA, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, is an IRS program that provides free tax preparation service for underserved tax filers through various partner organizations. This service helps low to moderate income individuals. International students are not eligible to use VITA. International students who need tax filing help should contact an accountant for assistance.
Ways to File through VITA
UO VITA Program – in person:
Beginning in mid-February 2022, the UO VITA program will accept in person requests for assistance from tax-certified volunteers at the Lillis Business Complex on the UO campus. Dates and times of service will be limited and offered on a first come first serve basis. Check their website for scheduled dates of service and operating hours, and a list of things you’ll need to bring with you: http://www.uobap.com/vita
Other Ways to File through VITA:
Beginning January 31, 2022 – https://www.getyourrefund.org/en
You can sign up in advance for free VITA assistance with GetYourRefund, a secure, IRS/U.S, Department of Treasury/White House supported site that provides free tax filings for low-income households. Most students, with or without children, will qualify for VITA services using the mobile app to upload necessary identification and tax documents for tax-certified VITA volunteers. Married students can file together. GetYourRefund can also be used to file prior year tax returns up to 3 years.
Income limit: under $66,000.
Available now – https://www.getctc.org/en
You can use GetCTC if you have only W2s and want to file quickly to collect your Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), stimulus payments and Child Tax Credit. This simpler tool is helpful to file quickly on your own for the current year’s tax filing only.
Income limit: under $12,500 (under $25,100 filing jointly).
GetCTC and GetYourRefund have text and call-center access to tax-certified VITA volunteers. Both are virtual. All assistance except real-time help is available 24/7 at no cost. Text help is available within about 2 days per exchange. Call center support is available Monday-Friday, usually from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and some Saturday hours.
If you are a “dependent” student supported by your parents, you may need to coordinate your tax filing with your parents. Parents who financially support students during college (including grad school) may claim students under age 24 as dependents. Students whose parents claim them as dependents cannot claim their personal exemption on their own taxes. Before filing tax returns, students should clarify whether their parents intend to claim them as a dependent for tax purposes. If so, those students should give their 1098-T to their parents before tax time. Form 1098-T is the statement your university uses to report qualified tuition and related education expenses to you and the IRS. You or your parent/guardian may be able to claim those expenses as education related tax credits. To get your Form 1098-T go to: https://ba.uoregon.edu/content/tax-benefits-1098t-parents
If your total scholarship funding is greater than your qualified school expenses, you may owe taxes on the difference. Discuss this issue with your parents early so you can prepare for any tax consequences. You may also wish to consult with an accountant for help finding the best way to minimize any tax impact.