Tax planning for college students

Tax planning for faculty college students (TV-PG; 3:29)

There’s a couple of key issues to learn about how the ending of the scholar mortgage fee freeze can have an effect on your taxes; plus, find out about some schooling tax credit many individuals aren’t conscious of.

New laws and forgotten schooling credit: What faculty college students have to know

Heading again to school is at all times an thrilling time, crammed with dorm procuring and preparations. But amid the chaos of recent beginnings, there’s essential monetary info that college students and fogeys want to concentrate on, particularly on the subject of scholar loans and potential tax breaks, in response to Lisa Greene-Lewis, a TurboTax skilled and CPA.

Student loans: Freeze thawed

Students have to be prepared for vital adjustments within the scholar mortgage panorama, stated Greene-Lewis. For some time, because of the impression of the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a freeze on federal scholar mortgage curiosity and repayments. However, as of September, this freeze is formally over. Interest will begin accumulating once more, with funds resuming in October. This is essential for college students to recollect, particularly those that benefited from this short-term aid. “That’s a key thing to remember because that pause was on for a couple of years due to Covid,” she stated in an interview with Tracy Byrnes.

There’s additionally one other pivotal replace: the Supreme Court blocked the scholar mortgage aid which was supposed to supply as much as $10,000 for federal scholar loans and $20,000 for Pell grants.

However, as Byrnes and Greene-Lewis famous, some college students needn’t begin making repayments instantly after graduating. Many, although not all loans, enable a grace interval, usually as much as six months post-graduation, to start repayments, Green-Lewis stated.

Education tax credit: Don’t depart cash on the desk

Beyond the scholar mortgage realm, there are education-related tax credit that always go unnoticed. Two of the first credit to contemplate are:

  • The American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC): Applicable for the primary 4 years of school, the AOTC can present as much as $2,500 in tax aid.
  • The Lifetime Learning Credit: Unlike the AOTC, this credit score is not restricted to the preliminary 4 years. It’s relevant even when a scholar is taking only one class after their fourth yr.

Who claims these credit, although? The scholar or the mother and father? Greene-Lewis careworn the significance of communication right here. These credit are based mostly on earnings, and plenty of mother and father may not qualify for them in the event that they declare their little one as a dependent, she stated.

However, if the mother and father’ earnings disqualifies them from benefiting, and the scholar has some earnings (even when it is beneath the IRS submitting threshold), the scholar ought to take into account submitting. Doing so may enable them to capitalize on the credit and any federal taxes they’ve had withheld.

“If you’re not getting any benefit from claiming your child because of your income, then you should have your child file their taxes, especially a lot of college students,” stated Greene-Lewis. “They work side jobs. But they think they don’t make enough money to file because they’re not at the IRS income threshold. But they’re leaving money on the table, especially if they have federal taxes taken out and they’re eligible for these education tax credits.”

Read the complete Q&A beneath or watch the video above.

Video transcript:

Tracy Byrnes: So it is that point of yr. If you have got youngsters going again to school, you are beginning to purchase dorm provides and discover sheets for his or her beds. But do not forget Uncle Sam provides a bunch of tax breaks. Lisa Greene-Lewis, TurboTax skilled and CPA is with us now to speak via them.

So Lisa, first, let’s begin with the brand new laws. What do we have to know?

Lisa Greene-Lewis: The very first thing you could know is that the freeze on paying your federal scholar loans is off. And beginning September, you are going to begin seeing curiosity in your account. And then it’s a must to begin making funds in October. So that is a key factor to recollect as a result of that pause was on for a few years on account of Covid.

And then one other key piece of laws that got here up on June 30 is the Supreme Court. They did block the scholar mortgage aid that was as much as $10,000 for federal scholar loans and $20,000 for Pell grants. So that’s blocked proper now.

Tracy Byrnes: So simply as a reminder, too, youngsters haven’t got to begin paying these loans again till they end with college, proper? So there is not any have to panic simply but.

Lisa Greene-Lewis: Yeah. It will depend on your mortgage, however in some instances sure. They do enable a sure period of time after you end college. I believe it is as much as six months after you end college as a result of I suppose they wish to give your youngsters time to discover a job and every part.

Tracy Byrnes: Right, as a result of in any other case mother and father need to pay the invoice. So, yeah, God bless Uncle Sam on that one. But so, test your mortgage. That’s tremendous essential.

Let’s now discuss these schooling credit that individuals typically neglect. American Opportunity is the primary one. I believe individuals depart these on the desk so much.

Lisa Greene-Lewis: Yeah, they do. Lots of people are unaware of them. And the American Opportunity Tax Credit — that is for as much as your first 4 years of school. And it is as much as $2,500. And then the Lifetime Learning Credit — that may be — it does not need to be your first 4 years of school. It’s really after your 4 years. And it could possibly be for one class. So that’s one factor to recollect for college students in addition to mother and father.

Tracy Byrnes: And the ultimate factor we must always discuss is who takes these credit. Is it the youngsters? Is it the mother and father? I suppose it relies upon.

Lisa Greene-Lewis: Yes. I at all times suggest having a dialog about who could be eligible as a result of these are income-based credit. And so a variety of instances, mother and father do not even qualify. But they’re claiming their little one as a dependent. So their little one cannot declare these credit.

But in the event you’re not getting any profit from claiming your little one due to your earnings, then you need to have your little one file their taxes, particularly a variety of faculty college students. They work facet jobs. But they suppose they do not make sufficient cash to file as a result of they are not on the IRS earnings threshold. But they’re leaving cash on the desk, particularly if they’ve federal taxes taken out they usually’re eligible for these schooling tax credit.

Tracy Byrnes: Yeah, that is definitely a dialog I’m going to be having with my son, who simply graduated this yr. Lisa Greene-Lewis, TurboTax skilled and CPA, thanks a lot for all of that.

Lisa Greene-Lewis: Thank you for having me.

Editor’s Note: The content material was reviewed for tax accuracy by a TurboTax CPA skilled for the 2022 tax yr.