Filing taxes, independently.

<p>I'm 19, and I go to school full time. I have a part time job, and have made so far around 8,000+. I pay my books, tuition, clothing, car insurance, etc. </p>

<p>My parents are telling me to file as independent. When I go to fill out my 2012-2013, will this affect the $$ I get back from FAFSFA.</p>

<p>Last year I didnt have a job, and I still have to pay 1/3 of my tuition because my parents made too much, but they don't give me anything for my tuition.</p>

<p>I also have a savings account with $2200+.</p>

<p>No, how you file your taxes will make no difference on FAFSA. Not a dependent for taxes and Independent for FAFSA as 2 completely different things. To be independent for FAFSA you must be able to answer yes to one of the dependency questions (age - 24 or more, have a dependent of your own that you support >50%, a veteran etc etc). None of the questions relate to tax filing status or whether you are self supporting.</p>

<p>Your income is over the protected income limit (assuming none of it is WS), so your EFC will actually increase a little.</p>

<p>There is an education tax credit called the American Opportunity tax credit. You may find that it is better for your parents to claim you and get the AOC and they can give it to you to help with your expenses. That is what we do with our daughter as it is more beneficial for us to get the tax credit than for her to (i.e. we get more $$$s back than she would). But, if they are not willing to give it back to you, your income probably qualified you to get the refundable part of the credit - in that case you may get some money back on taxes.</p>

<p>You can't technically file for the FAFSA as an independent until you're 24, or a number of other restrictions I don't think you'd meet. But you can submit it without your parents information, as a dependent, but this limits your aid/Stafford options.</p>

<p>As for your actual taxes...you could file as an independent if you're careful about what you and your parents report. Obviously then your parents can't list you as a dependent on theirs, so they will get less of a refund.</p>

<p>Also, with some colleges, even after you are 24 you have to prove that you have been self-supporting for at least five years. You also have to state that your parents haven't provided you with more that $700 in support.</p>

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Also, with some colleges, even after you are 24 you have to prove that you have been self-supporting for at least five years. You also have to state that your parents haven't provided you with more that $700 in support.

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^^^ I have never ever heard that before - it must be very rare. For FAFSA and federal aid this is not the case at all. A moot point as I don't believe the OP is 24 yet.</p>

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even after you are 24 you have to prove that you have been self-supporting for at least five years. You also have to state that your parents haven't provided you with more that $700 in support.

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I'd like to know what college that is so we can steer people away from it. You would have to be self supporting from the age of 19 on?</p>

<p>
[quote]
Also, with some colleges, even after you are 24 you have to prove that you have been self-supporting for at least five years. You also have to state that your parents haven't provided you with more that $700 in support.

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<p>This is ususally the case with professional schools (law and medicine) where even thoough you are an indendent student, ou must submit your parents income and assets.</p>

<p>It can also happen in a situation where a student attends a school that gives a large amount of institutional aid. Usually if you start as a dependent student, you must finish as a dependent student, regardless of age or marital status.</p>

<p>for example @ USC</p>

<p>
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To be considered independent for purposes of awarding university financial aid, undergraduates must meet one of the following conditions:</p>

<p>You are at least 26 years of age before January 1 of the award year you were admitted to USC.</p>

<p>At the time you complete your FAFSA, and at the time of entry to USC, you are married.</p>

<p>At the time you complete your FAFSA, and at the time of entry to USC, you have children who will receive more than half of their support from you during the award year and the summer preceding the award year</p>

<p>You are an orphan or ward/dependent of the court</p>

<p>If parental information is required when you are admitted to USC, you will be required to submit parental information throughout your enrollment at USC, regardless of your age, marital status, or other changes in circumstances (excluding the death of both parents). </p>

<p>If you feel, however, that your particular situation would justify independent status, you may submit a written appeal. Appeals should explain your circumstances in detail and include supporting documentation.</p>

<p>USC</a> Financial Aid - Applying & Receiving Financial Aid - Special Circumstances - Factors We Will Consider

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<p>
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Also, with some colleges, even after you are 24 you have to prove that you have been self-supporting for at least five years.

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</p>

<p>This is absolutely NOT TRUE...unless you are applying to SOME medical or law schools...where you still have to provide parent information even though you would otherwise be considered an independent student (because you have a bachelors degree already).</p>

<p>Where did you hear this??? And what college(s) would this apply to?</p>

<p>If you notice I said with "some colleges"; not all. It is true of the college I applied & was accepted to.</p>

<p>Unicornbubbles....according to other threads here, you were accepted as a transfer student to Cornell. Unless you could answer NO to all of the questions for independent status on the FAFSA, you WOULD be considered dependent for financial aid purposes. Are you a veteran, married, supporting a dependent child, over 24, have a bachelors degree, are or were a ward of the state, an orphan? If not, you would not be independent under for financial aid purposes.</p>

<p>Thumper, I believe you meant "Unless you could answer 'yes' to one of the questions for independent status on the FAFSA..." If you answered "no" to all, you would be dependent, so the word "unless" confused me for a moment. </p>

<p>Unicornbubbles - I don't understand how a school could say you have to provide 5 years of proof as an independent at age 24 when the FAFSA is federal aid. I can understand if it is for school-provided aid, but I would think not for FAFSA purposes. Perhaps it is true for a select few graduate programs, as I am not familiar with med or law school, but that wasn't what the OP was asking about.</p>

<p>Also, the OP's topic was about filing taxes, not the FAFSA. At least in their subject heading. And asking how the tax status affects the FAFSA.</p>

<p>Dunno what else to say. Even being defined as independent by the fed, they still made me verify and send proof that I was self-supporting.</p>

<p>The whole point of me posting that was to give a heads up to what an independent student <em>may</em> face.</p>

<p>D'oh! Re-read the original post. She did specify FAFSA. You guys were right. You don't have to show proof if it's only for FAFSA. My bad.</p>

<p>As I stated in my previous post, at schools that give institutional aid, you could be independent on the FAFSA but you may still have to provide your parent's income/assets for institutional aid. </p>

<p>In unicornbubbles situation at Cornell, while s/he was independent for federal aid purposes, s/he had to prove that s/he was self sufficient for 5 years to be considered independent for institutional aid purposes.</p>

<p>Cornell states:</p>

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</p>

<p>Independent Students</p>

<p>If you are admitted to Cornell as a dependent student, you will remain as such for your time at Cornell. Even if you are considered independent for federal student aid, Cornell may consider you to be a dependent of your parents when determining institutional aid eligibility.</p>

<p>Cornell will consider you to be independent if:</p>

<p>you are a non-traditional student and have been self-supporting for more than five years; or</p>

<p>both of your parents are deceased; or</p>

<p>you are a ward of the court</p>

<p>If any of these situations apply to you, please contact our office to discuss your individual circumstances. You will need to request the application for independent student consideration.</p>

<p><a href="http://www.finaid.cornell.edu/special-circumstances/family-circumstances%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.finaid.cornell.edu/special-circumstances/family-circumstances&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

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<p>Unicornbubbles does make a good point. Very often folks give the advice that students should just "declare themselves independent" when they run into obstacles regarding college funding with their families. Gaining independent status is VERY hard to do...and even with that, colleges that are giving institutional aid (and therefore require forms and info other than the FAFSA) are well within their rights to gain additional information or have additional requirements to determine independent status.</p>

<p>The process of gaining independent status as a college undergrad is NOT an easy one.</p>