With the start of April, and tax season winding to a close, your palms begin to sweat. Staring at your envelope you start to wonder what these boxes and numbers mean, what do I fill out, will I go to jail if I enter the wrong number. Tax Day is nothing to be afraid of; it just means that if you haven’t filed your tax returns yet, you need to jump on it soon.

You must have wondered why every year around April 15th, the United States has a national holiday known as Tax Day. That’s to represent the last day you can file your taxes for the previous year. Those taxes are the reason behind why you don’t receive your full paycheck.

For starters, when you make money from a job, a portion of your earnings goes towards taxes. These taxes are broken down into sections: federal, state and local taxes. When we pay these taxes, our money goes towards paying programs such as social security, defense/military spending, and other large departments. In addition, your money is used to pay firefighters, police officers, lawmakers, and government officials.

Full focus at a coffee shop
Don't be this guy on April 15th, file your taxes in early / Photo by Tim Gouw

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), if you made less than $66,000 last year, you can file online with tax-preparation-and-filing software for free. This is excellent news for students as it makes filing your taxes a tad bit easier.

Filing taxes isn’t as hard as it seems, nowadays it can be done with a simple tap of a button through H&R Block, TurboTax or QuickBooks and your paperwork.

For the most part, TurboTax, or other tax-preparation-and-filing software applications, will walk you through the steps of taking those boxes and numbers on your W-2 form and putting it into the tax app or website you decide to choose. Your tax returns typically arrive via direct deposit within 3 weeks of filing them. If you find yourself struggling, most tax applications will have a tax support team ready to troubleshoot your issue.

Last but not least, make sure to do yourself a favor by completing your taxes before April 15th. You don’t need an expert financial advisor to get this done, maybe just a few minutes of your time.