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Personal Finance Tips: Time to Get the Tax Documents Ready

Personal Finance Tips: Time to Get the Tax Documents Ready

Personal Finance Tips: Time to Get the Tax Documents Ready

Managing your personal finances takes on special meaning this time of year as tax season is just around the corner. Preparing for tax season takes planning, especially for college students. But there are a few steps you can take.

  • Make sure you know the tax deadline (April 18, 2022).
  • If you haven’t already, prepare a list of all expenses, such as books and supplies.
  • At the end of January, you should have received Form 1098T from your college. You can also download it. Information can be found on the Maricopa website.
  • Consider using a professional tax preparer. Look for a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Enrolled Agent (EA), or one who works under a CPA and EA.
  • Gather all your documents - proof of address, income, expenses, SSN, etc.
  • Ask your tax preparer about all available tax credits. For undergrad students, this is the American Opportunity Credit. For graduate students, it’s the Lifetime Credit.

Before signing off on your tax returns, review all the information carefully. A few things to remember:

  • You must keep a copy of your tax return for up to 7 years. 
  • All information provided to a tax preparer must be true and correct
  • If you send or receive tax information via email, make sure it is password protected.
  • Never discuss your tax returns with anyone, as it is private information.
  • Your tax preparer should seek your approval if the IRS requests a copy of your returns.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of steps to take before filing a tax return. Be sure you consult with your tax professional.

Written by Dr. Lily Davidov and Dr. Marianna Ilyasova, Enrolled Agent.

Dr. Lily Davidov is faculty chair for the Accounting, Small Business, and Insurance Studies Department at Rio Salado College. She can be reached at
Dr. Marianna Ilyasova, Enrolled Agent for over three years and accounting professor for over 14 years. She can be reached at

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