Welcome to your ultimate resource for all things tax season. This annual routine can feel a little intimidating, but once you empower yourself with tax knowledge, you will gain fresh confidence in your finances!
Scroll through to learn everything
you need to know for a stress-free
tax season from this year onward!
Tax season can feel scary and stressful, but it doesn’t have to be.
Talent: Carmen Perez | Editor: Madeleine Bokan | Designer: Neula Ha | Videographer: Eric Teti | Photographer: Kailas | Producers: Colin Olsen, Madeleine Bokan | Hair & Makeup: Maria Ortega | Wardrobe: Elizabeth Fonseca | Project Manager: Stephanie Rubino
Luckily, H&R Block is here to help you feel confident and empowered about filing your taxes. With their helpful tax prep services, you can file on your own or with a pro, plus unlock access to support and guidance year-round. No matter what process you opt for, H&R Block helps you understand your taxes.
Hot or iced, black or with cream, you’ll definitely need a boost if you’re filing taxes for the first time. (In all seriousness, you’ll need some energy for this!) With lots of information and numbers to keep track of, it’s important to be as sharp as possible. Typos are easy to make throughout the process (trust me, I learned the hard way), and they can mean the difference between getting your tax refund on time or not. Stay alert, organized, and get ready to check your work carefully.
Your favorite coffee
Having a solid checklist when preparing to file your taxes is an absolute lifesaver. This helpful tax prep checklist from H&R Block makes it easy to keep track of what documents you’ll need, from your family’s information to records of any scholarships or fellowships you’ve received during college. When reviewing your checklist, know that requirements will differ for everyone, so pay close attention to your unique situation. Seriously, print the checklist now to keep on your desk — you’ll thank us later..
A Clear Checklist
Keeping your personal info handy may seem like a given, but when it comes to filing taxes, every detail counts. For starters, you’ll need to know your social security number (or tax ID number) and any bank information (think: routing and account numbers) if you’re receiving your tax refund via direct deposit. Make sure to keep everything in a safe, secure location — AKA not scribbled on a sticky note you’ll lose in the library.
Your personal information
Here are five items you’ll need on your desk to get the process started
The whole process of filing taxes can feel daunting, especially if you’re a college student or young professional navigating things on your own for the first time. Between keeping track of important documents, crunching numbers, and staying organized on top of your busy schedule, approaching your taxes can feel like a hurdle in itself.
Talk about stress relief! In the meantime, we’ve put together a list of key items you’ll need when preparing to file your taxes.
Every year during tax season, I can’t help but feel a bit overwhelmed.
Before you even begin the process of filing taxes, create a desktop folder dedicated to your most important files. Upload a copy of your checklist, along with copies of your W-2, 1099, and any other official documents or info you’ll need along the way. If you’re self-employed, be sure to include any receipts or expenses that you may be able to write off later on. This folder will be an absolute lifesaver when it comes to keeping track of everything come tax season — plus, it’ll help you feel like you’re having a major adulting moment.
Your Go-To Desktop Folder
When I was in college, I worked as a university research assistant, tutor, after school teacher, restaurant host, and more. And when it came time to file my taxes, I had no idea what to do. Whether you’re a full-time student, freelancer, influencer, or you’re
self-employed, it’s important to know what forms are required based on your source(s) of income. If you’re totally confused like I was, you’re not alone; check out H&R Block’s tax calculator for a super clear breakdown of what to expect.
Sources Of Income
By empowering yourself with tips and resources you can (and will!) file your taxes confidently with ease. And this all starts by finding an open outlet to discuss taxes and ask questions. Start by chatting about this topic with your friends and family, and then check out H&R Block’s offerings where students with simple returns can file free!
If you’re filing taxes for the first time this year, know that it’s okay to ask for help! Knowledge is empowering, and you deserve to feel confident heading into tax season. Whether you want to work with a tax pro or navigate the process solo this year, H&R Block is here to support you with free and affordable options.
And with H&R Block you’ll know the price before you begin.
Once you’ve got your checklist and information ready, grab
some iced coffee and dive in. You’ve got this!
“Taxes were a concept that seemed really daunting to my younger self. So when it was my first time to file, I knew I could use some help. My grandma had been working at H&R Block for over 40 years, so all of my family members used their services. I decided to give it a try, too. I've been using H&R Block ever since and my experience with filing taxes has been nothing but easy. I always understand exactly what I am paying for and how much my refund will be! I recommend H&R Block to all of my friends filing their taxes for the first time, and beyond because you'll understand your taxes all without the stress of doing them yourself.”
“When I moved away to college I was determined to be super independent, but when my first tax season rolled around I realized I didn't know where to start! So I caved and called my mom, who of course knew what she was doing. Turns out, I didn't even think of some scenarios which made my taxes special that year, including student loans, yet her guidance helped me get an even bigger refund which was amazing as a broke college student. From there I was able to ask all the right questions during filing and started to file all on my own.”
“The first year I filed taxes, I had to file in two different states, as I had moved from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts. State taxes are so confusing, especially when you have to file in multiple, and I had a really hard time finding resources to answer my questions. If you happen to be filing in two states, it's important to research exactly what you'll need for each state. In addition, be prepared with your insurance information! I had no idea that is something you need in your report! Everyone’s taxes are different, so plan ahead and be prepared so you file before the deadline.”
“The first time I filed my taxes I remember sitting in front
of the computer with my mom on speakerphone. I was frustrated because the process of filing really didn't make sense to me. I didn't understand how my choices on my
W-4 affected what I might owe at the end of the year. Even this past year, I ended up owing the federal government. I still don't totally get it, but I'm striving to learn more each year. I think a lot of people say this, but learning about taxes would have been much more helpful than learning how to make monkey bread in Home Economics. So, I'm excited to learn from Her Campus and H&R Block's Taxtbook so I can empower myself with tax knowledge.”
“Growing up, I knew nothing about filing taxes. This was
back when filing taxes was all pen and paper, so year after year I would have my father help me prepare my taxes so that I could avoid the stress all by myself. Fast forward to my
mid-20s, when my parents told me it was time that I learned to file my taxes on my own. My dad shared the link to H&R Block’s free online form with me and told me that it wouldn’t be so hard. I anxiously waited until right before Tax Day to file, but when I signed on to H&R Block’s site, I realized that I was anxious about nothing. The program is SO easy to use and broke out every section of the tax form so that I felt confident about the information that I was filling out.”
Click items to explore!
In the meantime, read on to hear some of Her Campus HQ’s tax stories and tips, so you can see we’re all navigating tax szn together.
No one is a pro at taxes from the start.
Give yourself the grace to navigate adulting on your own timeline. And don’t be afraid to empower yourself with helpful resources and services like H&R Block.
Carmen Perez, founder of Make Real Cents, drops the tax facts and tips every first-time and young tax filer needs to know.
After watching the video, don't forget to scroll down and test your knowledge in the Taxtbook quiz!
Taxes are money we pay to the government to fund things like public schools and federal student aid?
1 of 6
No cheating, okay?!
so are you ready to test what you learned?!
We know we just threw a lot of Taxtbook knowledge your way...
Do you always receive a tax refund when you file?
2 of 6
No, but with H&R Block your maximum refund is guaranteed.
Tax percentages are the same for everyone regardless of where you live.
Tax rates vary based on city and state and various other factors.
3 of 6
On average, what percentage of people who file get a refund?
4 of 6
Do you have to pay taxes on your side-hustle income?
You need to pay taxes on
any and all income.
5 of 6
Can college students with simple returns file for free online with H&R Block?
Learn more here!
6 of 6
If you got 4 or more questions right,
If not, no stress, this resource is here ~forever~ so you can keep learning and gaining confidence in your finances. Happy tax season!!
you passed the Taxtbook test!