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Free tax filing session offers advice, student aid

Zachary+Lachance%2C+a+lecturer+in+the+accounting+department%2C+poses+with+a+picture+outside+of+the+tax+filing+help+session.+The+session+was+held+noon-4+p.m.+on+Thursday+in+the+Plemmons+Student+Union+alongside+graduate+student+Micah+Carroll.+
Andrew Rice
Zachary Lachance, a lecturer in the accounting department, poses with a picture outside of the tax filing help session. The session was held noon-4 p.m. on Thursday in the Plemmons Student Union alongside graduate student Micah Carroll.

Tax day is April 15 and students at App State are eligible for education credits and returns. With this in mind, the Department of Accounting held a free tax filing help session Thursday. 

The session offered advice for students filing their tax returns and free filing help for students who make less than $79,000 per year. Students were asked to bring income forms from the 2023 fiscal year to complete the free tax evaluations. 

“I’m scared every year that I’m gonna accidentally commit tax fraud,” said Micah Carroll, a graduate student in student affairs administration who helped run the session. “It could be a really big source of anxiety for a lot of students so if we can help alleviate that just by showing up for a few hours then we would love to do that.”

Carroll partnered with Zachary Lachance, a lecturer in the Department of Accounting, to run the help session in the union. 

A common misconception students have, Lachance said, is they will not receive a substantial return on their taxes. Lachance said this is not true and that students have many options to receive returns on their taxes.

One option, Lachance said, is educational tax credits. The American Opportunity Tax Credit is designed to help students claimed as dependents and independents when filing for taxes. The credit applies for four consecutive filing years. 

“A lot of students get up to $1,000 on their federal return which is great,” Lachance said. 

Another option Lachance said was important is the ability for students making more than $13,850 per year to receive employer withholdings. 

Employers withhold certain amounts of taxed income to protect employees’ overtime from being taxed. When a worker’s overtime is taxed, they can be moved into a tax bracket that inaccurately reflects their income for a certain filing period, according to the North Carolina Department of Revenue’s website

Lachance said students can receive the withheld income if they file tax returns as early as 2020. 

Lachance said he encourages students to take advantage of the resources available through the university because most resources to help students with taxes are not free. 

The help sessions at App State are part of the IRS funds services, which are across the country to help people making less than $79,000 per year invest in local economies. 

“Most people get refunds, at least in the clientele I’m talking about,” Lachance said. “Those dollars are just going right back into your local economy.” 

Carroll and Lachance said they hope to hold another help session in Plemmons Student Union to make the presence of the tax labs more accessible to students. 

Meanwhile, they said students can come to Peacock Hall room 3015 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 5-7 p.m. for help filing their taxes until April 10.

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About the Contributor
Andrew Rice, Reporter
Andrew Rice (he/him) is a junior communications studies, journalism major, political science minor from Cary, NC.
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