If you are a dependent of your parents, then they should normally enter the form 1098-T on their tax return, as they are the only ones that can qualify for an education credit.
However, if your form reports more scholarship income (box 5) then tuition expense (box 1), your parents won't qualify for a credit and you should then enter the form on your tax return, as you may have taxable income.
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There's a new urban myth among college students that says they can get a $1000 from the government just for filing a tax form. For most of them, they simply aren't eligible. A full time unmarried student, under age 24, even if you don't qualify as a dependent, is only eligible for the refundable portion of the American Opportunity Credit if he supports himself by working. You cannot be supporting yourself on parental support, 529 plans or student loans & grants. You usually must have actually paid tuition, not had it paid by scholarships & grants. It is usually best if the parent claims that credit.
You cannot claim a credit if you are, or can be, claimed as a dependent by someone else. If you parents are supporting you by paying your tuition, there's a good chance you qualify as their dependent.
A child of a taxpayer can still be a “Qualifying Child” (QC) dependent, regardless of his/her income, if:
- He is under age 19, or under 24 if a full time student for at least 5 months of the year, or is totally & permanently disabled
- He did not provide more than 1/2 his own support. Scholarships are considered third party support and not as support provided by the student.
- He lived with the parent (including temporary absences such as away at school) for more than half the year
So, it doesn't matter how much he earned. What matters is how much he spent on support. Money he put into savings does not count as support he spent on him self.
The support value of the home, provided by the parent, is the fair market rental value of the home plus utilities & other expenses divided by the number of occupants.