New SGA leadership hope to incorporate new tax help program next year
Stress and anxiety brought on by the impending deadline for tax season left Omar Kandah relying on his family for help.
The Canton junior and employee at the Real Food on Campus residential dining hall, said his dad worked with him to make sure his income tax returns were filed ahead of the April deadline, instead of waiting until the last minute.
"Over spring break, when I went home a few days early, I got to sit down with him and get it done early," Kandah said. "That alleviated the stress when the deadline is close. It's why I came back up after spring break with plenty of time to spare."
Unlike Kandah, a lot of CMU students waited until the last minute to submit their taxes to the Internal Revenue Service before Tuesday's deadline.
Vice President-elect of the Student Government Association Mariah Urueta said she and President-elect Charles Mahone made an on-campus tax assistance program part of their platform while campaigning.
"The basic idea is that not all students have the privilege of getting help from their family, having their taxes evaluated on their family's plan," Urueta said.
While surveying students across campus, Mahone and Urueta discovered an overwhelming need for tax assistance for many who had never had to deal with the IRS before.
She said she hoped to mimic the services at Central Michigan University's writing center and math labs.
"Here at CMU we have the math assistance center and the writing center where students can get free help from other students," Urueta said. "Why don't we have a program where those who are actually studying finances and accounting can help out those who are in need?"
Urueta said there would most likely need to be a waiver of liability form to make those seeking assistance aware the student tutors are not professional tax accountants, and they are doing this as a free service for their fellow CMU peers.
Livonia senior Mason Ross, who serves as a student assistant in one of the success centers on campus, also believes there should be more resources available for students to learn how to file taxes.
"I believe most students don't know how to do it themselves," he said. "If their parents just do it for them, I think it'd be beneficial to teach students because, eventually, they're going to have to know."
There are various methods to receiving a tax refund, but what might be most convenient for CMU students is via direct deposit into their bank account.
According to a March 27 press release from the IRS, direct deposit is continuing to rise in popularity among U.S. taxpayers.
"So far this year, the Internal Revenue Service has issued direct-deposit refunds valued at more than $170 billion, as a growing number of taxpayers are choosing the speed and convenience of direct deposit, rather than receiving a paper check," the release read. "So far this year, almost 85 percent of all refunds have been directly deposited into taxpayers’ bank accounts."
According to the release, taxpayers can choose to have their refunds deposited into their bank account when they electronically file, or by including their account information on their paper tax return.