How do I know if I have to file taxes?
Here are some basic guidelines for you to follow. In general, you should file taxes if:
Please be sure to visit www.irs.gov for your specific filing requirements.
Are there any tax reductions for students?
Your best source is a publication created by the IRS called Tax Benefits for Education, Publication 970, found at www.irs.gov/uac/Publication-970,-Tax-Benefits-for-Education-1.
1. The Lifetime Learning Tax Credit is an educational credit of up to $2,000 that can help to reduce your taxes. Your eligibility is based on the cost of tuition and fees for the current tax year.
2. Tuition and Fees Deduction: This deduction is taken as an adjustment to your income and may be beneficial if you cannot benefit from the Lifetime Learning Credit because your income is too high. (This benefit cannot be used with the Lifetime Learning Credit and is usually less advantageous.)
3. Student Loan Interest Deduction is a deduction for paying your student loan interest on time. It only applies to borrowers who are in repayment and obligated to pay interest.
4. Earned Income Credit is a refundable federal income tax credit for low-income working individuals and families.
Are grants, fellowships, and scholarships taxable income?
Generally, grants, fellowships, and scholarships received for anything other than tuition and fees are considered taxable income. Summer grants, fellowships, and scholarships received during periods of non-enrollment are considered taxable income, even if you do not receive a tax statement from the University. Clear guidelines are set forth on the IRS website at www.irs.gov/individuals/students/article/0,,id=96674,00.html.
Are loans taxable income?
Loans are not considered to be taxable income, although the interest paid may serve as a deduction on your taxes.
Are SFF and Federal Work-Study taxable income?
SFF and Federal Work-Study are considered to be taxable income, even if you do not receive a W-2 form.
What forms will I need to file my taxes?
1. W-2 forms
2. 1098-E: Your lender will send this form to you if there is capitalized or paid interest on your student loan during the tax year.
3. 1098-T: If you were registered for an academic term during the tax year, this form can be viewed/printed on Wolverine Access under Student Business > Financial Information > View Form 1098-T (available each year by January 31).
For other required forms that may apply to you, please visit www.irs.gov.
How should I file?
If your 2013 adjusted gross income was $58,000 or less, you can e-file for free by using Free File at www.irs.gov. Please note there is a charge for state taxes. State taxes may instead be filed directly and possibly for free at most state websites.
Is there a deadline for filing taxes?
The deadline is April 15, 2014. If you file after the deadline you may have to pay interest and penalties. If you need more time, please visit www.irs.gov.
None of the information here is to be considered tax advice, but should serve only as a general guideline to be confirmed by the IRS, your accountant, or a tax preparer.
Last updated February 2014.
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