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Do I have to do my taxes if I am a student doing an internship? & Can my parents claim me as a dependent?

I am a 22 year old full time college student who received $6,038 in gross income  from a part time spring 2017 internship and full time summer 2017 internship. I also received a financial aid refund check of $5,336 from Pell Grant and Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). I only had $181 in book expense for the year (Because I'm very savvy and rather borrow books from the library) resulting in $5,155 in unearned income. Most of my money went for food, transportation, some clothing. 

I have never done my taxes before and I don't know if I should do them since my gross income is below the required income. However, since my refund financial aid checks are high I feel like I should. 

Also, do I still apply to be my mothers dependent since she is the one who pays the rent, utilities, buys food? Or does that $6,038 in gross income contribute to half my expenses? (I feel like it is unlikely since I live in NYC which is so expensive but I still need to ask)

If my mother puts me as a dependent and I file my taxes, would it not clash? 

Thank you! 

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1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
CathiM
New Member

Do I have to do my taxes if I am a student doing an internship? & Can my parents claim me as a dependent?

If you file on your own, you may qualify for an education credit if you provided half of your own support and met the other requirements. You will need to add up your living expenses and see if your income was enough to cover half.  If it is, keep this calculation for your records.

If your mother qualifies to claim you as a dependent, you still file your own tax return and just not claim yourself.  This means that you do not receive an exemption for yourself.

Here are some guidelines to help you determine who can and should claim you and if you qualify to an education credit:

If there are qualified education expenses for you during a tax year, either you, or whoever is claiming you as a dependent, but not both of you, can claim an American opportunity credit or lifetime learning credit for your expenses for that year. 

If someone claims an exemption for you on their tax return, then only they are able to claim the credit based on your expenses. They would treat any expenses paid (or deemed paid) by you as if they had paid them themselves.  They would include these expenses when figuring the amount of your credit.  And you, as her dependent, wouldn’t be able to claim the credit.

If no one else claims you as an exemption, then only you can claim credit, and your parent can't claim the credit based on your expenses.

There are additional rules for each credit, but you must meet all three of the following for both:

  1. You, your dependent or a third party pays qualified education expenses for higher education.
  2. An eligible student must be enrolled at an eligible educational institution.
  3. The eligible student is yourself, your spouse or a dependent you list on your tax return.

Click on this link for more: Am I Eligible to Claim an Education Credit?

Also, you will have to check to see if your mother qualifies to claim you:

 https://ttlc.intuit.com/replies/5187060

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1 Reply
CathiM
New Member

Do I have to do my taxes if I am a student doing an internship? & Can my parents claim me as a dependent?

If you file on your own, you may qualify for an education credit if you provided half of your own support and met the other requirements. You will need to add up your living expenses and see if your income was enough to cover half.  If it is, keep this calculation for your records.

If your mother qualifies to claim you as a dependent, you still file your own tax return and just not claim yourself.  This means that you do not receive an exemption for yourself.

Here are some guidelines to help you determine who can and should claim you and if you qualify to an education credit:

If there are qualified education expenses for you during a tax year, either you, or whoever is claiming you as a dependent, but not both of you, can claim an American opportunity credit or lifetime learning credit for your expenses for that year. 

If someone claims an exemption for you on their tax return, then only they are able to claim the credit based on your expenses. They would treat any expenses paid (or deemed paid) by you as if they had paid them themselves.  They would include these expenses when figuring the amount of your credit.  And you, as her dependent, wouldn’t be able to claim the credit.

If no one else claims you as an exemption, then only you can claim credit, and your parent can't claim the credit based on your expenses.

There are additional rules for each credit, but you must meet all three of the following for both:

  1. You, your dependent or a third party pays qualified education expenses for higher education.
  2. An eligible student must be enrolled at an eligible educational institution.
  3. The eligible student is yourself, your spouse or a dependent you list on your tax return.

Click on this link for more: Am I Eligible to Claim an Education Credit?

Also, you will have to check to see if your mother qualifies to claim you:

 https://ttlc.intuit.com/replies/5187060

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