Catalyst V

Other tax discussions

If your parents qualify to claim you in the tax year you get married, you can file MFS and you can NOT take the standard deduction for your husband or claim any kids for any child tax credits if kids are in this mix. Likewise your husband would also file MFS and also can not take your self-exemption.

Note that for 2018 the dependent exemption and self-exemption no longer exists. Filing MFS you will get the $12,000 Self-exemption only. Then if/when your parents claim you on their tax return, they will not get a dependent exemption since that exemption no longer exists. However, if they qualify for any dependent credits such as qualified education expenses, they will claim those, and you flat out can not, unless specific and explicit criteria are met.

There is nothing illegal about this either, provided your parents qualify to claim you on their tax return.

So filing MFS all you will get is the $12,000 standard deduction at the most.

Requirements for parents to qualify to claim you:

- if on Dec 31 of the tax year you are under the age of 19 and your parents provided more than 50% of your support for the entire year, they qualify to claim you. Period.

                OR

- If on Dec 31 of the tax year you are:

   *Under the age of 24, and;

   *were enrolled as a full time student for any one semester that started in the tax year, and;

   *were enrolled in an accredited institution or higher learning, and;

   *were enrolled in a credentialed course of study that will lead to a degree or certification, and

   *YOU THE STUDENT did not provide more than 50% of your own support. (Scholarships, grants, 529 funds, gifts from Aunt Mary, etc. *do not count* for the student providing their own support) then:

- The parents qualify to claim the student on the parents tax return. The parents will also claim all education credits they qualify for.

Note that with the above, the student's earnings do not matter. The student could earn a million dollars and still qualify to be claimed as a dependent on the parent's tax return.

Note also that for a student, there is no requirement for the parents to provide any support. Not one single penny. THe support requirement is on the student, and only the student. TO reiterate that requirement, it is the student that must provide more than 50% of the students own support. There are only two possible ways the student can have sufficient income to provide their own support.

1. The student as a W-2 job or is self-employed and earns enough money to be able to prove that other sources of income (scholarship, grants, 529 funds, gifts, etc.) did not provide more than half of the student's support.

2. The student had a qualified student loan on which the *student* is the primary borrower, and sufficient funds were distributed to the student during the tax year to constitute more than half of the student's support.

One also has to take into account the amount of 3rd party income. For example, if you received $80K in scholarships during the tax year, then I don't care how much you may have earned. There is no way you're going to convince the IRS that it cost you more than $160K to support yourself as a college student. Your parent's would qualify to claim you on their tax return, even if you did earn a million dollars.