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Do full-time students owe taxes, or do they get a return?

quicksilverquicksilver Posts: 102Registered User Junior Member
I had a work-study job at my university last year, and I had federal income tax withheld. I made under $3000 on my job. I'm claimed as a dependent on my parents' tax return, so I don't qualify for Earned Income Credit. Therefore, the 1040EZ I'm filing now says I still owe taxes. I thought that all full-time students can get refunds from the federal income tax withheld if they file their tax returns? How does this work out? Do I get a refund even if the tax form says I owe taxes? Or am I going to be charged more taxes if I file my tax return?
I heard from other students that they got their refunds back. So should I expect to get a refund even though the tax I owe exceeds the federal tax withheld on the 1040EZ? I am using the IRS e-file for online filing. Thanks.
Post edited by quicksilver on

Replies to: Do full-time students owe taxes, or do they get a return?

  • kelsmomkelsmom Posts: 12,585Super Moderator Senior Member
    Do you have non-job earnings (like interest income)? If not, are you sure you are doing your taxes correctly? Double check the tax tables to make sure you didn't make a mistake.

    And no, no refund if you owe. The refund is if the IRS owes YOU. If you owe, you pay.
  • 3bm1033bm103 Posts: 3,610Registered User Senior Member
    If the only income you had for the year was under $3,000 and your return shows you owe, then you're doing it wrong. Your standard deduction is $5,700 so your tax liability will be zero and you will get back whatever you paid in. As Kelsmom said, the only difference would be if you had Unearned income, like interest or dividends that exceed $250. That part would be taxable.
  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 37,796Registered User Senior Member
    You need to recheck your tax return...agreed with others....if you earned less than the standard deduction with low interest/dividend income...you should be receiving a refund.

    You do know that you can "free file" using one of the computer software programs offered through the IRS website...and also submit electronically. Check this out but DO NOT SUBMIT until you are sure you have all the numbers correctly.

    And re: the title to this thread...yes some students DO owe taxes. It all depends on your income. DD had a job ...most of it was work study but some was not. She earned over $7000 and NO taxes were deducted. She will OWE the government some money.
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 15,029Registered User Senior Member
    Agree with the other posters. If $3000 was your only income (no unearned income or taxable scholarships/grants) then you do not owe taxes and should be getting a refund for any taxes paid. Even though you are claimed as dependent on your parents return you still get the standard deduction of $5700.

    The IRS has a link to software like turbotax that can be used for free to prepare your return and efile if you qualify (which it sounds like you should). The software will walk you through doing the return. Make sure you print off a copy of your return and file it.

    Free File Home - Your Link to Free Federal Online Filing
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