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Out-of-State / Declaring Residency

aliensxistaliensxist Registered User Posts: 27 New Member
Hi, I'm new here, so I'm not sure if this is the right section to post this in, but I'm from Arizona, and next year (class of 2014) will most likely be attending Utah State University. I know all states have different residency laws, and Utah happens to be a state where you can establish residency after 12 consecutive months of living in the state, with certain situations met. I have a question though.

I am currently declared as a dependent on my parent’s income tax. One of the requirements for Utah residency is to be declared as an INDEPENDENT. My question is what will happen if I do declare myself as an independent on me and my parents tax forms, or can I even do it (I am 18 years old, will be 19 when I begin school)? My parents plan to help me pay for some of my tuition/other fees and help me along in college, while I pay the rest. Utah residents save a good 8.5k per year in tuition costs, which is better spent going elsewhere.

My general question is: what will happen when I declare independent? Will I lose the ability to have my parents help me pay for college? ECT...
Thanks a bunch
Post edited by aliensxist on

Replies to: Out-of-State / Declaring Residency

  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 64,004 Senior Member
    Well...you need to talk to your PARENTS about the ramifications of being independenton their taxes...and you need to think about the other things this can affect as well. First...your parents will lose you as a deduction/exemption and that will cost THEM money when tax time comes. They also might not be able to take the college tax credit if you are independent (although you would be able to take that).In addition, you need to check your health insurance...ours clearly states that students MUST be dependents (on taxes) to continue being covered. Some car insurance companies do the same.

    And read the fine print for Utah. Most states do allow you to establish residency with 12 months residence...but there are conditions. First, the student cannot do this alone...the parents have to establish residency also. AND most important...MOST states also do NOT allow you to establish residency WHILE you are attending college there. I don't know if either of these applies to Utah.

    Re: payment for college. Regardless of whether you are independent for TAX purposes, you WILL be dependent for financial aid purposes. When you complete the FAFSA for Utah, you will still be required to list your parents' income and assets on the financial aid application forms.

    I will tell you what we did in our household. As long as WE (the parents) were paying the college bills, and other living expenses (insurance, room/board, etc)...WE insisted that the kiddo be a dependent on OUR taxes so that we would get the college tax credit and the deduction/exemption for our kiddos.
  • ChedvaChedva Super Moderator Posts: 28,605 Super Moderator
    Many states also require that you prove that you were totally self-supporting while living in that state, before they grant you residency that is different than your parents'. That means you have to have a job that will pay enough for food, rent, etc.
  • scottaascottaa Registered User Posts: 1,037 Senior Member
    To qualify as a resident for tuition purposes, an individual must: (For more detailed information see last page of residency application on PDF file at the bottom of this page.)

    * Be a US Citizen or have Permanent Resident Status.
    * Live in Utah for 12 continuous months. Must show evidence of physical presence in Utah for 12 months (school and employment are best). (Documentation Required)
    * Not be claimed as a dependent on tax returns by anyone not a resident of Utah. (Documentation Required)
    * Sign a written declaration that they have relinquished residency in any other state.
    * Obtain a Utah driver's license, Utah vehicle registration (if you have a car in Utah for your regular use), and voter registration AT LEAST THREE (3) MONTHS PRIOR TO THE BEGINNING OF THE TERM FOR WHICH YOU ARE APPLYING FOR RESIDENCY. (Copies Required) Fall semester by June 1 and Spring semester by October 1.

    This may be the most lenient residency requirement in the country.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 64,004 Senior Member
    * Not be claimed as a dependent on tax returns by anyone not a resident of Utah. (Documentation Required)

    Does this mean that this student could not be claimed on the 2008 tax return...or that he cannot be claimed on the 2009 return.

    THIS SHOULD BE CHECKED. IF it means that the student already is not a dependent on the tax return, that would imply the 2008 return. Most parent declare their high school kids as dependents!! The OP needs to clarify this piece!!!
  • aliensxistaliensxist Registered User Posts: 27 New Member
    Thumper - Thank you very much for the very detailed reply! I asked my mom to come in and read it, so we could both get a better understanding of what's instore. My mom says we have to weigh what will save us more, the 8.5k tuition savings, or the deduction on their taxes. And yes I think I will be forced out of my parents health insurance plan if I do become an independent.

    Chedva - Yes, I think that is one of the parts of becoming an independent, you must prove you're finacially independent as well. I believe I have enough in savings to live a year or two even without a job, (I've been saving alot,) and still plan on getting a PT job once in UT. But even if I would self suport myself for a whole year, and gain residency status, does that mean my parents can't help me/send money after that first year?

    I've been searching for questions like these all over the internet, and can't find anything. Thanks so much for the help guys.
  • 3bm1033bm103 Registered User Posts: 4,209 Senior Member
    * Live in Utah for 12 continuous months. Must show evidence of physical presence in Utah for 12 months (school and employment are best). (Documentation Required)
    I think that part means you have to have lived in Utah for 12 months BEFORE you start school.
  • aliensxistaliensxist Registered User Posts: 27 New Member
    Well, I'll have to pay first years out-of-state tuition no matter what. But on USU's website it says, by the second year, you are eligble to receive in-state tuition prices.
This discussion has been closed.