Tuesday, May 21, 2024

What Do College Students Need To File Taxes

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Transfer The Current Year’s Amount

How to File Your Taxes : College Student

You may transfer a maximum of $5,000 of the current years federal tuition amount, and where available, the applicable maximum for provincial and territorial tuition, education and textbook amounts, minus the amount you used to reduce your tax owing as calculated on Schedule 11. You can transfer all or part to your spouse or common-law partner, to their parent or grandparent, or to your parent or grandparent.

To designate your transfer, complete the following, as applicable:

You cannot transfer to your parent or grandparent, or to your spouses parent or grandparent, if your spouse or common-law partner claims any of the following amounts on their Income Tax and Benefit Return:

  • spouse or common-law partner amounts
  • amounts transferred from spouse or common-law partner

If you transfer an amount to your spouse or common-law partner, they have to complete federal Schedule 2.

If they resided in a province or territory other than Quebec, Alberta, Ontario or Saskatchewan on December 31, they also may need to complete provincial or territorial Schedule .

Options For Filing Taxes For Free

  • You can use the IRS Free File tool, which allows you to file your taxes yourself at no cost if you earned less than a maximum amount.
  • If you need a hand, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program offers free tax help to people who make $56,000 per year or less. Find a VITA site near you.
  • Many colleges partner with VITA to offer students free tax assistance. Check with your college or nearby colleges to learn more.
  • There are several services listed below that offer free tax return filing. Each service has different requirements for free filing, so check those requirements before you start. For example, Jackson Hewitt offers free federal and state filing if you have no children or dependents, have a joint income below $100,000 and take the standard deduction. Many programs limit free filing to people who use the online self-service version of their tax preparation tools.

Can I Claim My Student As A Dependent

You worked hard to help your child get into college. Now there are tax credits, scholarships, and loan deductions that you havent had to deal with before. If this is your first time filing your taxes since your child went off to college, here are some of the questions you may be asking this tax season.

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Which Income Tax Package Should You Use

Generally, you have to use the income tax package for the province or territory where you resided on December 31. If you were living in a province or territory other than the one you usually reside in, use the income tax package for your usual province or territory of residence. For example, if you usually reside in Ontario, but you were going to school in Alberta, you would use the income tax package for Ontario.

If you resided in Quebec on December 31, use the income tax package for residents of Quebec to calculate your federal tax only. You will also need to file a provincial income tax return for Quebec.

What Student Loan Borrowers Need To Know About Filing Taxes In 2022

Do I Have to File Taxes and How Much Do I Need to Make?

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Plus, H& R Block Free Online is one of the most robust free filing options for simple returns and includes the student loan interest deduction. Check out H& R Block here > >

5 Tips For Filing Taxes With Student Loans In 2022

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Graduate Student Association Income Tax Aid

Join the Graduate Student Association for free income tax aid. Free consultations are available to graduate students in March and April of each year. You can book a free appointment with the Graduate Student Association accountant. The accountant will not complete your income tax return for you, but can help you understand how to complete the forms and answer questions.

Itemizing Deductions For Teens

Teens working as independent contractors also qualify to itemize deductions, although this might involve using fee-based tax preparation software or paying a tax professional. A teen who mows yards on weekends can deduct the cost of equipment, gas and supplies, as well as mileage to get from one job site to the next. Every dime you can add up in that deduction column reduces the amount of your earnings subject to being taxed.

One fun thing about deductions on your taxes is that you may be able to claim at least a portion of items like your smartphone and internet, provided youre using them for business purposes. If youre primarily using them for personal activities or schoolwork, youll need to determine the percentage of business use and deduct that.

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Preparing For Next Year

Once youve filed for the first time, youll know what to expect next year. Its the perfect time to double-check your withholdings and adjust them upward or downward if your refund wasnt what you wanted it to be.

If you were self-employed in the previous tax year and you plan to continue to work that way, its time to set up estimated tax payments. Using Form 1040-ES, input what you expect to make this year. Youll then get a recommended amount that you can pay four times.

Then set aside about 25 percent of everything you make to pay income and self-employment taxes. This will ensure youre never hit with a big tax bill at once that you cant afford to pay.


Whats Your Dependency Status

Student Filing Taxes, Saving for Retirement in College (Form 8863) – How to File Your Taxes Part 2

You can be claimed as a dependent by your parents until you reach age 19. If youre a student, that can be extended until you are 24.

Traditionally, parents claimed their children as dependents because it granted them additional tax exemptions.

For tax year 2020, the dependent exemption at one point was expected to be $4,300.

Your parents are still likely to claim you as a dependent if they can, as they may still be entitled to other benefits, such as the earned income tax credit.

If you have been claimed as a dependent, it means you are not eligible for the deductions or credits that your parents claim for yourself, as those can only be taken by one filer per year.

As a dependent, your income tax filing threshold is different as well.

For example, for 2017, single tax filers didnt have to file a return unless their income reached $10,400.

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Wasnt The Tuition Tax Credit Eliminated

No, it was not. At least not federally. The education and textbook amount was eliminated by the federal government, but the tuition amount has not been eliminated. However, you might be thinking of some provinces. Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Alberta recently eliminated the provincial equivalent of this credit.

Frequently Asked Questions On Filing Taxes As A College Student

As of 2021, you can no longer deduct tuition and fees from your taxable income. However, if you paid tuition or other qualified educational expenses, you may qualify for a student tax credit. Complete Form 8863 to calculate and claim your credits.

College students must file a tax return if they made over a certain income. That income threshold depends on multiple factors, including if you are a dependent or married. Generally, if you’re a single student who made more than $12,550, you will have to file a tax return.

If you received a W-2 from an employer that shows a federal tax withholding, you might want to file taxes even if you didn’t make much money. You could get a refund check.

Your parents can typically claim you as a dependent if:

  • You’re under 19.

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Examination Fees For Licensing Or Certification

Examination fees paid to an educational institution, professional association, provincial ministry or other similar institution, to take an occupational, trade or professional examination that is required to obtain a professional status recognized by federal or provincial statute, or to be licensed or certified as a tradesperson, to allow the student to practice the profession or trade in Canada, may be eligible for the tuition tax credit.

Ancillary fees or charges exceeding $250 and paid in respect of an occupational, trade, or professional examination are not eligible tuition fees unless they are required to be paid by all individuals taking the examination.

You should be provided with a receipt to substantiate your eligible exam fees. The receipt should contain certain information as detailed below:

NAME OF INSTITUTION: ____________________


THAT the following examination ____________________ was taken by ___________________ on ____________________

THAT, out of the total fees paid for the examination, the sum of ____________________ constitutes the amount of eligible fees paid for purposes of paragraph 118.5 of the Income Tax Act

THAT the examination is required to obtain a professional status recognized by federal or provincial statute or to be licensed or certified as a tradesperson where that status, license or certification allows the person to practice the profession or trade in Canada

Know Whether Youre An Employee Or Independent Contractor

4 things every student needs to know about filing taxes

The majority of the workforce is classified as an employee roughly nine in 10 workers, according to recent data. However, its increasingly common for college students and recent graduates to work as independent contractors. Many take on freelance jobs during the initial stages of their career and may not work for an employer in the conventional sense.

Tax reporting is handled differently depending on your classification, so its important to have a firm understanding of how each arrangement works. For the employee, the company withholds income tax, Social Security, and Medicare from wages paid, explains the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. For the independent contractor, the company does not withhold taxes.

If youre classified as an employee, your employer will automatically withhold your money and send it to the IRS, and youre all set. However, if youre classified as an independent contractor, youre responsible for reporting taxes yourself and sending in either quarterly estimated tax payments or an annual tax payment.

For a detailed overview on the differences between an employee and independent contractor, check out this guide from Berkeley Law.

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Education Credits Can Save You Money

The first credit you should look into is the American Opportunity Credit. Its an annual credit worth up to $2,500 that eligible students can claim during the first four years of undergraduate studies. The credits intent is to provide help in covering the cost of qualified education expenses. That includes tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment. If the credit reduces the amount of tax you owe to $0, 40 percent of the remaining amount is refunded to you .

Another helpful tax benefit is the Lifetime Learning Credit. Students enrolled in an eligible educational institution can claim it. That includes undergraduate, graduate and professional degree courses. The tax credit is equal to 20 percent of your tuition costs and certain related expenses up to $10,000. The credit maximum is $2,000.

Both education credits are phased out for higher income taxpayers. If you are considered a dependent on your parents tax return, they can still claim the credits.

Keep in mind, you cant use the same expenses for more than one tax benefit. You also cannot claim both credits for the same student in the same year.

The tuition and fees deduction reduces your taxable income

If you dont qualify for education tax credits, you may be eligible to claim the tuition and fees deduction. Claiming that deduction can reduce your taxable income by up to $4,000. However, you must still have records of your qualified expenses, like tuition, books, supplies, to claim it.

Do College Students Need To File Taxes

College students filing their tax return for the first time should be aware of certain items before submitting their return.

As a college student, you may be wondering whether you’re supposed to file a tax return once tax season rolls around. For some college students filing a tax return is a necessity for others, it may be optional.

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What If You Receive Grants Or Scholarships

Youll be glad to hear that you dont have to pay taxes on grants or scholarships you receive while in school. Most grant or scholarship money goes directly toward your educational expenses anyway, whether its an athletic scholarship or an educational grant.

However, if you land a job at school or a work study position, you have to report your income.

With that being said, apply for as many grants and scholarships as you can to lower the costs of college since you wont have to worry about any tax penalties.

How Do I Claim My Student Loan Interest

How to do your Taxes, Tips for Students

While the student loans eligible for the tax credit are administered by the federal and provincial governments, theyre issued through regular banks and other lending sources. Your lender will send you an annual statement reporting the interest amount on your loan. You enter this amount on your tax return.

Unlike some other education credits and deductions, you cant transfer this credit to a spouse or family member. So, even if your parents are helping you cover the interest, only you can claim it on your return.

You can carry forward any unclaimed student loan interest to any of the next five years, so be sure to keep those documents in order.

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Where Do You Enter Financial Aid On Your Tax Form

Typically, you’ll use your financial aid information to claim deductions, but occasionally you’ll need to report it as taxable income. For example, if you’re claiming educational expense deductions or college-related tax credits, you’ll need records of the aid you received and what you spent it on. On the other hand, scholarship money that you use for unqualified expenses, such as travel, may be taxable and will need to be reported.

Scholarships And Your Taxes

Looking for scholarships and grants should be on every current and prospective college student’s mind. But what happens at tax time? Here’s what you need to know:

Your scholarships, grants, and fellowships are considered tax-free only if you are using the entire amount to pay for tuition, fees for enrollment, books, supplies and equipment required by your college.

If you used a portion of that scholarship for “incidental” expenses like room and board, you’ll need to claim that as part of your income. For example, say you received a $5,000 scholarship. You use $2,500 to pay tuition, and the other $2,500 to pay room and board. You’ll need to report that $2,500 you used for rent and food as taxable income on Form 1040.

The IRS offers more information on scholarships, grants, fellowships, and taxes.

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Lifetime Learning Tax Credit

The Lifetime Learning Tax Credit can reduce your tax bill by up to $2,000 and applies to people who pay for tuition or undergraduate, graduate, and professional education. You can claim the Lifetime Learning credit every year that you qualify.

A student must meet these requirements in 2020 to qualify:

  • You or your dependent must pay qualified education expenses for higher education
  • The eligible student must be enrolled at an eligible institution
  • The eligible student is you, your spouse, or your dependent
  • Single filers must have a MAGI of $58,000 or less for the full credit
  • You are not claiming the American Opportunity Tax Credit for the same tax year

If you qualify, you can claim 20% of the amount paid toward qualifying expenses, up to a credit of $2,000. However, the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit is not refundable.

Note: For tax year 2021, the income limits for the Lifetime Learning Credit will increase to match the income limits for the American Opportunity Tax Credit.

Deducting Higher Education Expenses

Do college students need to file taxes?

College tuition is no longer tax-deductible. Up until 2017, you could deduct up to $4,000 of qualified college costs, including tuition and other qualified expenses. But according to the IRS, “The tuition and fees deduction is not available for tax years after 2017.”

Nevertheless, you can still claim applicable tax credits as listed above and you can deduct your student loan interest as you pay off your student loans after college.

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