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Should my daughter file her own taxes under these circumstances?

Hello everyone, my situation is as follows.

I made $26k

I have a 18 year old daughter 

She started college in fall 2019

She went to a summer program and got paid $5750

We paid $4200 in tuition and $300 in books

My questions are:

Someone told me that I can claim her as my dependent but she still needs to file her own taxes? How does this work?

She has receipts for the tuition and $150 but is missing the other $150, other than receipts do I need anything else?

This is my first time filing in this situation so if anyone could give me a few ideas, I'll appreciate it, thank you 

2 Replies
Level 15

Should my daughter file her own taxes under these circumstances?

You should be able to claim her as your dependent under the Qualifying Child rules.  You would enter the education expenses on your tax return since a dependent student cannot enter education expenses on their tax return.  She can file her own tax return to report her income and get a refund of any taxes withheld.  She Must indicate on her tax return that she can be claimed as a dependent.


To be a Qualifying Child -

1. The child must be your son, daughter, stepchild, foster child, brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, or a descendant of any of them.
2. The child must be (a) under age 19 at the end of the year, (b) under age 24 at the end of the year and a full-time student or (c) any age and permanently and totally disabled.
3. The child must have lived with you for more than half of the year. Temporary absences while away at college are considered living with you.
4. The child must not have provided more than half of his or her own support for the year.
5. If the child meets the rules to be a qualifying child of more than one person, you must be the person entitled to claim the child as a qualifying child.
6. The child must be a U.S. citizen or U.S., Canada or Mexico resident for some portion of the year.
7. The child must be younger than you unless disabled.

Level 15

Should my daughter file her own taxes under these circumstances?

See @DoninGA to confirm she is a dependent (she probably is)


a) your income goes on your tax return and her income goes on her tax return

b) the 1098T form goes on YOUR tax return (as long as Box 1 exceeds Box 5) - that will reflect the qualified tuition and related fees.  It should get you the AOTC credit by doing it this way. 

c) if the $5750 is her only income and there were no tax withholdings, she doesn't need to file.  If there were withholdings, she'll need to file to get the money back. 

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