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Level 4


we have a dependent grad school child who pays nothing. she is 100% dependent lives at home. .We have been claiming her for education out of pocket expenses and $500 child credit.

Is it worth for us to claim her or for her to file independent?

Im  asking because all of a sudden I saw our mortgage interest property taxes and whatever else turbo showed us that the standard deduction is better then itemizing.

so what's the point of itemizing and it made me rethink education expense.

Does college education expense and child credit fall under that category when it figures the standard or itemize?

Does college education fall under itemize deductions and compare standard deduction?


5 Replies
Level 15


Does she have any 2020 scholarships or grants?

Level 4


little scholarship entered the 1098t along with out of pocket expense

Level 11


College credits and the Child Tax Credit have nothing to do with Itemized or Standard Deduction.  They are completely separate.  So you can claim both credits (if eligible) even when you use the Standard Deduction.


As for any potential ability for your daughter to claim "independent",  no.  If she is ELIGIBLE to be claimed as a dependent, she can NOT say she is 'independent'.  She would need to say that she CAN be claimed as a dependent.


However, some of your comments are a bit confusing.  You said she was 100% dependent, which sort-of implies that she has no income at all.  But you also commented about 'filing' her independently, which seems to imply that she does have income to file a tax return.


As a grad student, how old is she?  If she turn age 24 (or older) in 2020, then you would only be eligible to claim her as a dependent if her income is below $4300 (there is no income limit if she was younger than age 24 at the end of the year).

Level 4


she is 22  and has 2 part time jobs. So i was trying to figure out if it was even worth is for her to claim independent or if we benefit better claiming her.


Expert Alumni


She would have to indicate that someone can claim her as a dependent if she qualified as your dependent. So, she would not benefit from you not claiming her as your dependent if she qualified as such. So, it would be best for you to claim her as your dependent, assuming she qualified as such.



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