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4 Answers

Full time student tax returns?

Asked by: jmlcpl 589 views YA Discussion

Hi I am a 20 year old full time student in college and would like to know which way I should file my taxes in order to get the maximum refund possible. Last year I files as dependent with my mother and I got back 1000 from what she received for claiming me. I have a part time job and have had one for two years the difference is last year I didn’t go to school. This year I want to know if I should file dependent still or independent. I get financial aid for school so I don’t know if that makes a difference or not. Last year they told me if I filed independent I would get 876 and with my mom she gave me 1000 should I go with the same procedure again and be her dependent ?

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4 Answers



  1. tro on Jan 06, 2013 Reply

    if you didn’t attend school you are no longer a dependent

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  2. Bobbie on Jan 06, 2013 Reply

    Your EARNED INCOME that you do work for to earn never does have any thing to do with your mothers own 1040 income tax return and any REFUND amount that your mother can qualify for when you and her do meet all of the rules for this purpose and does belong to your mother during the tax filings season.
    You can NOT just choose what your filing status will be when you are still a QC dependent of another tax payer for the tax year for this purpose.
    Use the search box at the http://www.irs.gov website for Publication 501

    http://www.irs.gov/publications/p501/index.html

    http://www.irs.gov/publications/p501/ar02.html#en_US_2011_publink1000220868

    All the requirements for claiming an exemption for a dependent are summarized in Table 5.
    Table 5. Overview of the Rules for Claiming an Exemption for a Dependent
    Caution. This table is only an overview of the rules. For details, see the rest of this publication.
    Qualifying Child

    http://www.irs.gov/publications/p501/ar02.html#en_US_2011_publink1000220886

    There are five tests that must be met for a child to be your qualifying child. The five tests are:
    Relationship,
    Age,
    Residency,
    Support, and
    Joint return.
    These tests are explained next.
    If another taxpayer is entitled to claim you as a dependent, you cannot take an exemption for yourself even if the other taxpayer does not actually claim you as a dependent.”
    And the below is a statement for your parents that might also apply to your situation at this time in your life.
    Dependent not allowed a personal exemption. If you can claim an exemption for your dependent, the dependent cannot claim his or her own personal exemption on his or her own tax return. This is true even if you do not claim the dependent’s exemption on your return.
    Hope that you find the above enclosed information useful for your situation and good luck to you. 01/06/2013

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  3. Quick Answers on Jan 06, 2013 Reply

    I have a serious problem with your post. You seem to think being a dependent is a choice. It isn’t. It’s a matter of facts and circumstances.

    You also toss around the word independent–which is not an IRS word, but a FAFSA word. FAFSA uses different rules than the IRS does. Until you are 24, you will continue to be a dependent for FAFSA purposes, no matter what is on your tax return.

    For 2012, the IRS test is fairly easy. Without being in school, if your income was more than $ 3800, you are NOT a dependent because your income is too high. If your income was less than $ 3800 and mom supported you, then you are still her dependent.

    For 2011, the issue isn’t income, but support because the IRS rules are different for students until they are 24. If you supported yourself, only you could claim your exemption on your tax return. Mom wouldn’t have been eligible to claim you or the education credit. if you supported yourself, you would have claimed the credit, but would have been unable to claim the $ 1000 AOC refund unless you could prove that your wages alone were more than half of the total. While many students have loans (which counts as support they provided for themselves), most do not meet the earnings test.

    For 2011, when you were a student, if you did NOT support yourself, your exemption could only go on mom’s return. When she claimed it, she also got the right to claim the AOC refund. She could have forgone both, but you wouldn’t have gotten the right to claim your exemption and would have been limited to the non-refundable part of the AOC. If your income had been $ 14000, your tax bill would have been around $ 876 and the AOC would have knocked it down to zero. Those are the ONLY two choices that would have been available in 2011. If someone said there was another one, they were wrong and do not use them again.

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  4. Judy on Jan 06, 2013 Reply

    You don’t just get to decide based on how much money you’d get. If your mom meets the rules to claim you, then you cannot legally claim yourself. At 20 and a full time student, you are her dependent unless you are supporting yourself. If you were not in school even one semester of 2012, you are not a dependent if you made over $ 3800 for the year so would file and claim yourself.

    In any case, much of the money last year was probably an education credit and you won’t get that this year if you weren’t in school.

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