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College student claimed as dependent question (complicated)

latestgoodlatestgood Posts: 33Registered User Junior Member
Hello,

I am 21 years old college student. Last year I made $10,590. Do I have to file myself as a dependent because I am less than 24 year old? I am asking this because my dad grossed $20,000 and had to pay close to zero taxes so tax credit for him will be minimal at most. In 2008, I supported myself and received no support from my dad.

My concern is that if I do not file myself as an dependent, I receive FULL federal and state refund ($984). However; if I file as a dependent, I receive only partial refund($300).

In 2008 tax, my dad is going to file me under dependent in order for me to receive pell grant and other loans. My school will not let me apply for any loans without my parent's tax return. As a result, I may not be able to receive any pell grant and loan opportunity if my dad does not claim me. (I still don't know why I have to be dependent even though I support myself...)

In summary, can I not file dependent in my tax while my dad files dependent? Or is there any better solution to this? I always thought that college student is exempted from federal taxes but here am I shocked to find out that I

may not be exempted after all... Would I have to forfeit my $700? I know this may not be a lot ot some people but this is my two months expense!

Thank you,
Post edited by latestgood on

Replies to: College student claimed as dependent question (complicated)

  • sueinphillysueinphilly Posts: 4,207Registered User Senior Member
    you are a dependent for Fafsa purposes. Being claimed as a dependent on your dad's tax return has nothing to do with fafsa. You are not independent for fafsa purposes.
  • ChedvaChedva Posts: 19,434Super Moderator Senior Member
    There are two different issues here: FAFSA and your taxes.

    For FAFSA purposes, you are a dependent student. No issue, no question. Your eligibility for Pell grants and other loans is based on your FAFSA, not on your taxes. Yes, your father will need to submit his taxes for FAFSA purposes, but whether you were listed on his taxes as a dependent is irrelevant.

    For tax purposes, if you are self-supporting, you can file your taxes on your own behalf and your father does not need to declare you as a dependent. (In fact, he cannot, as that would violate the tax laws.) Again, this has nothing to do with FAFSA. You can receive your full tax refund without regard to FAFSA.

    Treat the two (taxes and financial aid) as independent, separate matters. Follow the instructions for each truthfully and fully, and you should be fine.
  • latestgoodlatestgood Posts: 33Registered User Junior Member
    Basically, my dad doesn't have to include my name under his taxes for me to receive financial aid? In other words; I am dependent under fafsa but for tax returns, I can declare myself as independent and my dad does not have to include any dependents. The school only requires my dad's tax return?

    Thank you,
  • sueinphillysueinphilly Posts: 4,207Registered User Senior Member
    It is fine if your dad doesn't claim you on his taxes as a dependent.
    You can take the $3500 exemption when you file your taxes (single $5450 and $3500 for an exemption will be deducted from your income to figure your federal tax on).

    You are STILL a dependent for fafsa purposes
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