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gradstudent
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Should I file my taxes even though it says $0 for state and fed? I was a full-time grad student in CA with only a 1098-E form. Is this right?

I live in CA and I'm a full-time grad student. I only have a 1098-T this year. No W2 and my 1098-E has $0 listed as well. I've used Turbotax for 5 years where I had a full-time income and I'm used to receiving refunds. Hence, I'm trepidation that I'm screwing up when every single field says $0 on it when I'm about to file. 

I earned no income this year and paid for school and living expenses with savings + gov loans. 

1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
KrisD
Intuit Alumni

Should I file my taxes even though it says $0 for state and fed? I was a full-time grad student in CA with only a 1098-E form. Is this right?

If you had no income, the non-refundable portion of any education credit you might be eligible for would have nothing to be applied to. In other words, you can't get a credit since you have no taxable income or tax liability for that credit to decrease.

Only the American Opportunity Tax Credit can be received as a refund, but that credit can only be used 4 times per student and also is not available to grad students. 

Below are the filing requirements for 2018:


FILING REQUIREMENTS FOR TAXPAYERS: UPDATED FOR TAX YEAR 2018 

Single

under 65 $12,000

65 or older $13,600

Head of Household

under 65 $18,000

65 or older $19,600

Married, Filing Jointly***

under 65 (both spouses) $24,000

65 or older (one spouse) $25,300

65 or older (both spouses) $26,600

Married, Filing Separately

any age $5

Qualifying Widow(er) with dependent child

under 65 $24,000

65 or older $25,300

 

FILING REQUIREMENTS FOR DEPENDENTS:

Single dependents—

Were you either age 65 or older or blind?

No. You must file a return if any of the following apply. 1. Your unearned income was more than $1,050. 2. Your earned income was more than $12,000. 3. Your gross income was more than the larger of— a. $1,050, or b. Your earned income (up to $11,650) plus $350.

Yes. You must file a return if any of the following apply. 1. Your unearned income was more than $2,650 ($4,250 if 65 or older and blind). 2. Your earned income was more than $13,600 ($15,200 if 65 or older and blind). 3. Your gross income was more than the larger of— a. $2,650 ($4,250 if 65 or older and blind), or b. Your earned income (up to $11,650) plus $1,950 ($3,5500 if 65 or older and blind).

Married dependents—

Were you either age 65 or older or blind?

No. You must file a return if any of the following apply. 1. Your gross income was at least $5 and your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions. 2. Your unearned income was more than $1,050. 3. Your earned income was more than $12,000. 4. Your gross income was more than the larger of— a. $1,050, or b. Your earned income (up to $11,650) plus $350.

Yes. You must file a return if any of the following apply. 1. Your gross income was at least $5 and your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions. 2. Your unearned income was more than $2,350 ($3,650 if 65 or older and blind). 3. Your earned income was more than $13,300 ($14,600 if 65 or older and blind). 4. Your gross income was more than the larger of— a. $2,350 ($3,650 if 65 or older and blind), or b. Your earned income (up to $11650) plus $1,650 ($2,950 if 65 or older and blind)

 

CLICK HERE for IRS Pub 501 Exemptions, Standard Deduction, Filing Information


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1 Reply
KrisD
Intuit Alumni

Should I file my taxes even though it says $0 for state and fed? I was a full-time grad student in CA with only a 1098-E form. Is this right?

If you had no income, the non-refundable portion of any education credit you might be eligible for would have nothing to be applied to. In other words, you can't get a credit since you have no taxable income or tax liability for that credit to decrease.

Only the American Opportunity Tax Credit can be received as a refund, but that credit can only be used 4 times per student and also is not available to grad students. 

Below are the filing requirements for 2018:


FILING REQUIREMENTS FOR TAXPAYERS: UPDATED FOR TAX YEAR 2018 

Single

under 65 $12,000

65 or older $13,600

Head of Household

under 65 $18,000

65 or older $19,600

Married, Filing Jointly***

under 65 (both spouses) $24,000

65 or older (one spouse) $25,300

65 or older (both spouses) $26,600

Married, Filing Separately

any age $5

Qualifying Widow(er) with dependent child

under 65 $24,000

65 or older $25,300

 

FILING REQUIREMENTS FOR DEPENDENTS:

Single dependents—

Were you either age 65 or older or blind?

No. You must file a return if any of the following apply. 1. Your unearned income was more than $1,050. 2. Your earned income was more than $12,000. 3. Your gross income was more than the larger of— a. $1,050, or b. Your earned income (up to $11,650) plus $350.

Yes. You must file a return if any of the following apply. 1. Your unearned income was more than $2,650 ($4,250 if 65 or older and blind). 2. Your earned income was more than $13,600 ($15,200 if 65 or older and blind). 3. Your gross income was more than the larger of— a. $2,650 ($4,250 if 65 or older and blind), or b. Your earned income (up to $11,650) plus $1,950 ($3,5500 if 65 or older and blind).

Married dependents—

Were you either age 65 or older or blind?

No. You must file a return if any of the following apply. 1. Your gross income was at least $5 and your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions. 2. Your unearned income was more than $1,050. 3. Your earned income was more than $12,000. 4. Your gross income was more than the larger of— a. $1,050, or b. Your earned income (up to $11,650) plus $350.

Yes. You must file a return if any of the following apply. 1. Your gross income was at least $5 and your spouse files a separate return and itemizes deductions. 2. Your unearned income was more than $2,350 ($3,650 if 65 or older and blind). 3. Your earned income was more than $13,300 ($14,600 if 65 or older and blind). 4. Your gross income was more than the larger of— a. $2,350 ($3,650 if 65 or older and blind), or b. Your earned income (up to $11650) plus $1,650 ($2,950 if 65 or older and blind)

 

CLICK HERE for IRS Pub 501 Exemptions, Standard Deduction, Filing Information


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