I did my taxes online last night using TurboTax. Honestly, it wasn’t too bad. In the past I’ve always gone to a CPA since I had my own business, was a minister, and other crazy tax issues… however, this year with the move I decided to just do it myself since I didn’t have a CPA in our new town. The decision worked out quite well. TurboTax had a great interface and guided me step by step… best news of all… REFUND!!! I really didn’t see that one coming.
If you haven’t filed yet, remember you only have 4 more days!!!
So, one thing that all seminarians should know is that you have some GREAT tax breaks available to you. Here is the IRS publication (always fun to read) on how you can get a deduction from your education expenses. Essentially, you can deduct up to $4000 of “Tuition and fees required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible postsecondary educational institution, but not including personal, living, or family expenses, such as room and board.”
Besides that deduction there is also a Lifetime Learning Credit available. Now, I’m not a CPA so I don’t really understand the relationship between the two options you have, however, I know that you can’t take both of them… That is why it is really great to use a CPA or a program like TurboTax. You simply plug in the information and it determines what is best for your situation.
So, if you haven’t done your taxes, get on it! And remember to take advantage of the tax breaks your education provides you.