It’s tax time here in the U.S. Figuring out how much your taxes will be is a headache for many, including grad students. Each semester seems to bring a different set of circumstances.
Earlier in the semester I went to a seminar held by the university to help domestic grad students navigate their taxes. I think it helped me to understand the nuances a bit. I use tax software to get the job done since it’s proven to be more efficient and more accurate than me sitting down with my 1040. But it’s always nice to understand what’s going on inside that black box of TurboTax or whatever you might be using.
Of course, I don’t have to tell you that I’m no tax expert and claim no responsibility if things go wrong on your taxes. But hopefully this information will help other grad students unsure about how to maximize their tax benefits.
The last few years have certainly been good to me. In fact, I’ve been fortunate enough to have had a lot of interesting experiences over the course of my life. But over time I’ve found that the memories fade and it can be hard to remember the highlights as they sink into the past.
To combat this effect (and provide a pick-me-up when I feel like I’m in a rut), a few years ago I started keeping a list of highlights of each year. For each month, I list cool things that I’ve done or plan to do, from traveling to hosting visitors to big accomplishments. Basically anything that’s worth having a reminder about to rekindle the memories.
2013 was good to me by all accounts. I visited 2 new continents and 3 new countries, finished my master’s degree, and got engaged to one hell of a man. It was a west-coast kind of year, making a bunch of trips to California locales, including several that were new to me. Plus an epic trip to Hawaii which made use of my scuba certification and made me fall in love with poke and ramen.