On the support issue, take note that the requirement is on the student - not the parent. There is no requirement for the parent to provide any support at all - not one dime. Yet that parent can still qualify to claim the student as a dependent. (and they usually do qualify)
But, there is an additional caveat. The assumption was that the fellowship was a true scholarship. If any of it was reported to her on a W-2 or a 1099-misc (box 7), because she provided services (typically research or teaching) then it is earned income and that part is considered her money providing support. A scholarship, reported in box 3 of a 1099-Misc, is taxable scholarship and not earned income.
No. Scholarships, grants, fellowships do not count as the student providing their own support. The only thing that counts is the student's "earned" income.
- College Education Expenses
Colleges work in academic years, while the IRS works in calendar years. So the reality is, it takes you 5 calendar years to get that 4 year degree. With that said:
- Scholarships and grants are claimed/reported as taxable income (initially) in the year they are received. It does not matter what year that scholarship or grant is *for*
- Tuition and other qualified education expenses are reported/claimed in the tax year they are paid. It does not matter what year they pay *for*.
Understand that figuring out who claims the student as a dependent, and determining who claims the education expenses & credits, is two different determinations. It depends on the specific situation as outlined below. After you read it, I have also attached a chart at the bottom. You can click on the chart to enlarge it so you can read it. If it’s still to hard to read on your screen then right-click on the enlarged image and elect to save it to your computer. Then you can double-click the saved image file on your computer to open it, and it will be even easier to read.
Here’s the general rules gisted from IRS Publication 970 at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p970.pdf Some words are in bold, italicized, or capitalized just for emphasis. This is because correct interpretation by the reader is everything. Take the below contents LITERALLY, and do not try to “read between the lines”. If you do, you’ll interpret it incorrectly and risk reporting things wrong on your taxes. For example, there is a vast difference between “can be claimed” and “must be claimed”. The first one indicates a choice. The second one provides no choice.
If the student:
Is under the age of 24 on Dec 31 of the tax year and:
Is enrolled in an undergraduate program at an accredited institution and:
Is enrolled as at least a half time student for one academic semester that begins during the tax year, (each institution has their own definition of a half time student) and:
the STUDENT did NOT provide more that 50% of the STUDENT’S support (schollarships/grants received by the student ***do not count*** as the student providing their own support)
The parents will claim the student as a dependent on the parent's tax return and:
The parents will claim all schollarships, grants, tuition payments, and the student's 1098-T on the parent's tax return and:
The parents will claim all educational tax credits that qualify.
If the student will be filing a tax return and:
The parents qualify to claim the student as a dependent, then:
The student must select the option for "I can be claimed on someone else's return", on the student's tax return. The student must select this option ieven f the parent's qualify to claim the student as a dependent, and the parents do not claim them.
Now here’s some additional information that may or may not affect who files the 1098-T. If the amount of scholarships/grants exceeds the amount of qualified education expenses, the parent will know this when reporting the education on their tax return, because the parent will not qualify for any of the tax credits. (They only qualify for tax credits based on out-of-pocket qualified expenses not covered by scholarships/grants.) Also, the parent’s will not qualify for the credits depending on their MAGI which is different for each credit, and depends on the marital status of the parent or parents.
In the case where scholarships/grants covers “all” qualified education expenses, the parent’s don’t need to report educational information on their dependent student at all – but they still claim the student as a dependent if they “qualify” to claim the student.
If the scholarships/grants exceed the qualified education expenses, then the student will report the 1098-T and all other educational expenses and scholarships/grants on the student’s tax return. The student will pay taxes on the amount of scholarships/grants that are not used for qualified education expenses. However, if the student’s earned income reported on a W-2, when added to the excess scholarships/grants does NOT exceed $6200, then the student doesn’t even need to file a tax return, and nothing has to be reported.
If the student has any other taxable income not reported on a W-2, and it exceeds $400, (not including taxable portion of scholarships/grants) then most likely it’s considered self-employment income. That will require a tax return to be filed and the student will have to pay the Self-Employment tax on that income.
Finally, regardless of the student’s W-2 earnings, if any taxes were withheld on those earnings and it was less than $6200, then the student should file a tax return so as to get those withheld taxes refunded.
Short answer: no. The fellowship is third party support and not support provided by her. But "living away from home" needs to be explored.
There are two types of dependents, "Qualifying Children"(QC) and other ("Qualifying Relative" [QR] in IRS parlance even though they don't have to actually be related). There is no income limit for a QC but there is an age limit. Only a QC qualifies you for the Earned Income Credit. They are interrelated but the rules are different for each. The support rule is different. For a QC, the rule is that the child must not have paid for more than half her own support. But for QR, the rule is that you (the taxpayer wanting to claim her) must have provided more than half her support. So fellowship support doesn't hurt you if she is a QC; but does if you are trying to claim her as a QR.
A child of a taxpayer can still be a “Qualifying Child” (QC) dependent, regardless of his/her income, if:
1. He is under age 19, or under 24 if a full time student for at least 5 months of the year, or is totally & permanently disabled
2. He did not provide more than 1/2 his own support
3. He lived with the parent (including temporary absences such as away at school) for more than half the year
So, if she is away from home primarily for school and still considers your home hers, she may still be a QC. But if, she has moved out; then she cannot be your dependent. Not only is the support rule different, by fellowship that pays for living expenses is considered taxable income and she does not meet the income test.
A person can still be an other dependent, if not a Qualifying Child, if he meets the 6 tests for claiming a dependent:
1. Closely Related OR live with you ALL year
2. His/her gross taxable income for the year must be less than $4,000 (2015)
3. You must have provided more than 1/2 his support
In either case:
4. He must be a US citizen or resident of the US, Canada or Mexico
5. He must not file a joint return with his spouse or be claiming a dependent of his own
6. He must not be the qualifying child of another taxpayer
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