If you have no income, you cannot file an income tax return, unless you qualify for the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC). (See Who is eligible to take the American Opportunity Tax Credit? ). You may be eligible for the $1,000 refundable credit.
Note: If your parents or someone else claims you as a dependent, you do not qualify for the $1,000 AOTC. See If a parent claims me as a dependent, can I claim the education tax credit?
Note: You may not be able to E-File an income tax return with $0 income. You may have to mail in a paper income tax return.
To determine if you qualify for the $1,000 AOTC, all you need to do is enter your 1098-T Tuition form – See How do I enter Form 1098-T? TurboTax does the rest! You may be eligible to use the free version of TurboTax.
If you don't have a TurboTax account, here are instructions to set one up:
1. Sign out of TurboTax Online.
2. Select the TurboTax Online product you want to use for the second return and proceed.
3. On the Create your account screen, set up a new login for the second return.
o You can reuse your email address if you want to receive e-file notifications for the second return.
o Up to 5 accounts can be tied to the same email address.
4. After you've created the new account, you can start working on the return.
Tip: If you're preparing multiple returns for family members, it's more economical to switch to the TurboTax CD/Download software, which lets you e-file up to 5 federal returns at no additional cost. More info