UW Graduate School

March 12, 2015

Death and Taxes

Filing taxes seems more complicated than it should be, and there seems to be no help from the university, despite the fact that many graduate students have very similar tax situations. What’s the best way to file to maximize our return (where do we put student fees and union dues and all of the other things that we can claim to reduce our tax liability)? Are there good tax help resources available? —Anonymous

Why are taxes so complicated? Albert Einstein once said, “The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.” Anyway, yes, the UW does provide tax help! Student Fiscal Services is holding general student tax workshops Thursdays, April 2 and 9, 1:30-2:30 p.m. They are also holding a workshop specifically for graduate/professional students on Wednesday, April 8, 2:30-3:30 p.m. and one for international students on Tuesday, April 7, 1:30-2:20 p.m. All workshops are held at UW Seattle, Odegaard 220. If you can’t make a workshop in person, you can download their presentation. Also, the Seattle Public Library offers one-on-one tax help at various branches. United Way offers help at a few additional sites. (You must have made less than $60,000 in 2014 to be eligible for their free help. Probably not a problem for grad students?) Good luck!

“Taxation with representation ain’t so hot either.” —Gerald Barzan, humorist 

Ask the Grad School Guru is an advice column for all y’all graduate and professional students. Real questions from real students, answered by real people. If the guru doesn’t know the answer, the guru will seek out experts all across campus to address the issue. (Please note: The guru is not a medical doctor, therapist, lawyer or academic advisor, and all advice offered here is for informational purposes only.) Submit a question for the column →