5 things you should know if you’re filing taxes for the first time

Tax season is well underway. Have you started yet?

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If you grew up watching your parents get stressed around tax season, then you’re probably not looking forward to filing yourself for the first time.

There are a million questions that run through your head that you might just ... not know the answers to: How much do I owe? Will I get money back from the government? Do my parents still claim me as a dependent? What is a W-2?

Well, don't worry, because we are here to make your first time filing taxes just a little easier by giving you some tips of the trade.

1. Prepare and start early.

This piece of advice won’t teach you how to do your taxes, but it’s a helpful reminder that the sooner you start getting your papers together, the easier it will be once you decide to file. Remember, you have until mid-May to do your taxes. You can also prepare by getting advice from adults who have done this many times, like your parents or a tax professional.

2. Find out if you are still a dependent on your parents' tax return.

Knowing your status on whether your parents claim you or not will determine how you file your taxes this year. According to NerdWallet.com, dependents cannot claim any exemptions when filing their own taxes, even if their parents do not claim them. Most college-aged students fall into the dependent category, so they cannot claim their own exemption.

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