Income Tax Session
By Brittney Payette
At 2 p.m. on March 10 in Ross Hall, room 101, the Student Enrichment Center hosted “What’s the Deal with Taxes?”
The event took place on Zoom and in-person simultaneously. The event was about the basics of income taxes. Jeremy Toombs and Yaping Ligon of the Student Enrichment Center gave the presentation. Dr. Aubree Walton, a professor of Business Law and Accounting at Cameron, was also featured.
First, they covered the fundamental question that many people ask: do I need to file income taxes? You must file if you owe special taxes if you have had an early withdrawal from an IRA or 401K, if you have received tips, if you withdrew money from a health savings account, if you have net earnings from self-employment of $400 or more or if you have a gross income exceeding a certain threshold.
Walton said that people can be self-employed without actually owning their own business.
“It has nothing to do with the format of your business,” Walton said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a corporation, or a partnership, or an LLC. If you are a single owner of an income-producing activity, you would likely be considered a sole proprietor.”
The threshold in which you have to pay taxes depends on whatever your status was on the last day of the year that you are filing for. Your status can include being married, single, dependent on someone else, having dependents, or being head of the household. There are different thresholds for people over 65 and people under 65.
“Single means not married and without dependents for tax purposes,” Ligon said. “If you are married, you have the option of married filing jointly, as in the couple files on one return, or you can do your own separate return. Head of household means you are not married but have dependents.”
If you are single and earned over $12,500 from earned and unearned income, or if you provided more than half of your own support, you need to file your tax return. If you had unearned income over $1,100 or are self-employed and earned more than $400, you need to file your own tax return.
“Even if you can be claimed as a dependent, that does not make you exempt you from filing a return,” Toombs said. “Another misunderstanding that sometimes comes up with students is that if you worked, but you worked minimally and did not receive a W2 or a 1099 form, some people say, ‘well then, I do not have to file because my employer did not send me the paperwork.’ False.”
If you are filing your own taxes, you must turn in all of the necessary documents. There is a 1098-T form for students in your Aggie Access. The 1098-T lists how much Cameron charged to your account and how much you received financially in scholarships and grants. Individual tax forms are due to be filed by midnight on April 18 this year.
“You need to know the social security numbers and dates of birth for everyone in the household,” Ligon said. “Turbotax has this handy, more comprehensive sort of checklist.”
You can get tax help at the Center for Creative Living (by appointment only) at 3501 Elsie Hamm Dr. Call (580) 248-0471 to make an appointment. The Great Plains Improvement Foundation at 2 SE Lee Blvd #200 can also provide tax help but has income limitations. Call (580) 353-2364 to contact the Great Plains Improvement Foundation.
Some sites also offer free filing for taxes. You can search “free file on IRS” to find software to help you file your taxes for free. For more information, contact the Student Enrichment Center at email@example.com or call them at (580) 581-5908.