A dependent is a person who relies on you for financial support. Let us see can you still claim your college student as a dependent in this article.
Can I Still Claim My College Student As A Dependent?
You can claim your spouse, children and other qualifying relatives as dependents if they meet all of the following tests:
- They lived with you for more than half of the year.
- They didn’t provide more than half of their own financial support during the year (if they did, see exceptions below).
- You provided more than 10% of their total support during the year (if not, see exceptions below).
Eligibility for Claiming a College Student as a Dependent
- Age and Relationship Requirements: You must be at least age 24 to claim your child as a dependent. If you are married, you can claim your spouse as a dependent if he or she meets all the other criteria. You may also be able to claim an unmarried child who is under age 24 if that person has lived with you for more than half of the year and meets certain tests related to their financial dependence on you (more about this below).
- Financial Support Requirements: The student must not provide more than half of his or her own support during the year in question. This means that if there were two people living in the household during 2018, then both would have been considered as providing support for each other–even though only one might actually have been paying rent or buying groceries! In this case, we would look at what percentage each contributed toward total household expenses; if one paid 80% while another paid 20%, then we would say that person was providing 100% of his/her own support since no one else made any significant contribution toward those costs (and therefore cannot be claimed as dependents).
Income Requirements for Claiming a Dependent
The first step in determining whether you can still claim your college student as a dependent is to check their income. To qualify, the student’s adjusted gross income (AGI) must be less than $4,000. If they are married and filing jointly with their spouse, then the combined AGI must be less than $8,000.
If you’re wondering what MAGI is and how it differs from AGI–don’t worry! We’ll cover both below:
Tax Benefits of Claiming a College Student as a Dependent
You can claim your college student as a dependent if they meet the following criteria:
- They are under age 24 (or under age 25 if they are a full-time student).
- They live with you for more than half of the year.
- You provide more than half of their support during that time period.
Claiming a College Student as a Dependent on Your Tax Return
To claim your college student as a dependent, you must file the following forms:
- Form 1040 (or 1040A)
- Form 2555 or 2555-EZ (if you’re an international student)
- Schedule 4952 (if your child qualifies for the American Opportunity Credit)
The Impact of Claiming a College Student as a Dependent
- Claiming a college student as a dependent can have an impact on financial aid. If you claim your child as a dependent, the amount of money they receive in student loans will be reduced by about $2,500 per year. This is because the federal government considers parents’ income when determining how much money it will loan out to students.
- Claiming a college student as a dependent may affect their ability to repay their student loans. Some parents worry that if they claim their child as a dependent on their taxes, this will lower the amount of money available for repayment and cause them problems later on down the line when it comes time for repayment–but this isn’t necessarily true! It all depends on whether or not your child qualifies for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). If they do qualify for PSLF and make 120 payments while working full-time at an eligible employer (like AmeriCorps), then those payments won’t count towards any other forgiveness programs such as Pay As You Earn (PAYE) or Revised Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan (REPAYE). However, if your child doesn’t qualify for PSLF due to not meeting certain requirements like working full time at an eligible employer or being enrolled in an income-driven repayment plan during those 120 months then those payments could still count towards other types of forgiveness programs such as PAYE/REPAYE so keep that in mind when deciding whether or not claiming someone else’s taxes matters!
Claiming a College Student as a Dependent After They Graduate
When your dependent student graduates, they become independent. This means that you can no longer claim them as a dependent on your taxes. However, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to claim them in the future.
You can still claim a child who is under 24 years old as a dependent if they are:
- A full-time student at an accredited college or university (and their education expenses were paid by someone other than you), OR
- Disabled and not able to work due to their disability
Claiming a College Student as a Dependent After They Die
If you claim a student as a dependent after they die, the student’s estate will receive the exemption. The IRS allows you to file an amended return within three years of when you filed your original return (or two years from when you paid your taxes). This means that if your child died in 2016 and their death was not reported on your 2015 tax return, then you can still claim them as a dependent on that year’s return.
To do so:
- Open TurboTax and select “Start New Return” from the home screen.
- Click on “Continue” at the bottom left corner of the screen and then choose “Yes” when asked whether this is an amended tax return or new one altogether (if it’s an amended one). After clicking through some basic questions about yourself and family members who live with you, get ready for step 2!
Claiming a College Student as a Dependent After Divorce
If you’re divorced or separated, the rules can be a little more complicated. The IRS says that if your child lived with you for at least half of the year, they are your dependent. You can claim them on your tax return as long as they are under age 19 (or 24 if they’re still in school full-time). If they don’t meet these requirements, then it’s up to both parents’ discretion whether or not they want to claim their child as a dependent on their taxes.
If one parent has primary custody of the child and has been providing more than half of his/her support during the year (including paying college tuition), then he/she should be able to claim him/her without any issues from the other parent–even if this means losing out on some potential tax benefits!
You now have the information you need to make an informed decision about whether or not your college student can still be claimed as a dependent. If you decide that it’s in your best interest, there are several ways to go about claiming them on your taxes.
It’s important to remember that just because someone is related to you doesn’t mean they qualify as a dependent. And even if they do qualify, there are still rules and regulations that must be followed in order for them to count toward the deduction on which you base your tax refund or balance due from Uncle Sam each year.