Tax Information for Students and Scholars

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1 Tax Information for Students and Scholars Student Financial Aid with assistance from Internal Revenue Service March 30, 2011

2 Topics of Discussion Who needs to file a tax return Taxation on Scholarships and Fellowships Lifetime Learning Credit Tuition and Fees Deduction Student Loan Interest Deduction

3 Topics of Discussion Education Expense Deduction Cancellation of Student Loan Loan Repayment Programs Estimated Taxes Tax Assistance Resources

4 Filing Requirements Non-Dependents Under 65 Must file if gross income is at least: $ 9,350 for Single 18,700 for Married Filing Joint 3,650 for Married Filing Separate 12,050 for Head of Household 15,050 for Qualifying Widow(er)

5 Filing Requirements Single Dependents Under 65 Must file if any below apply: Your unearned income is over $950 Your earned income is over $5,700 Your gross income is more than the larger of $950, or your earned income (up to $5,400) plus $300

6 Filing Requirements You also must file if: Special Situations You had net self-employment earnings of $400 or more You received advanced earned income credit payments (box 9 of W-2 form) You owe any special taxes (e.g., additional tax on withdrawal from IRA, Social Security tax on unreported tips)

7 Who Should File? Even if you are not required to file, you should file if: You had taxes withheld You qualify for a tax credit You are graduating in 2011 and interested in Income-Based Repayment (IBR) for qualified student loans

8 Scholarships and Fellowships SCHOLARSHIP amount paid for the benefit of a student at an educational institution to aid in the pursuit of studies FELLOWSHIP amount paid for the benefit of an individual to aid in the pursuit of study or research

9 Tax-free Scholarships and Fellowships A scholarship or fellowship is tax-free only if: You are a candidate for a degree at an eligible educational institution, and You use it to pay qualified education expenses

10 Qualified Education Expenses Tuition and fees required to enroll at or to attend an eligible educational institution Scholarships paying for non-qualified expenses (such as room and board), even though it is required to enroll, is not considered qualified expenses Course-related expenses such as fees, books, supplies, and equipment These items must be required of all students in the course of study

11 Form 1098-T By 1/31/2011, eligible educational institutions must send each enrolled student Form 1098-T to report: Qualified educational expenses Amount of scholarships or grants Reimbursements or refunds Enrollment status

12 Taxability of Scholarships and Fellowships for degree candidates Tax-Free ** Tuition Fees* Books* Supplies* Equipment* Taxable Room & Board Travel Teaching Research Services Other Services **Tax-free only if the terms of the scholarship or fellowship do not prohibit the expense *if required of all students in course

13 Payment for Services Scholarships, fellowships, or tuition reductions received as payment for past, present, or future services are taxable This applies even if all candidates must perform the services to receive the degree

14 Worksheet to Figure Taxable Scholarship Income See Pub. 970, Tax Benefits for Education

15 Reporting Scholarships and Fellowships If you receive scholarship or fellowship income and you are required to file a tax return, you must report the taxable amount, whether or not you received a Form W 2

16 Where to Report Include taxable amount with wages on line 1 of Form 1040EZ or line 7 of Forms 1040A, 1040 Write SCH and the amount not reported on a W 2 (no W-2 received) SCH 1, Tax preparation software will prompt you for the information and automatically enter it

17 Education Credits American Opportunity Up to $2,500 credit per student Up to first 4 years of college UCSF students cannot claim this credit for themselves Lifetime Learning Up to $2,000 credit per tax return For all years of postsecondary education Can be for courses to improve job skills

18 You Cannot Claim Lifetime Learning Credit if: You are listed as a dependent in the Exemptions section of another person s tax return Your tax filing status is married filing separately Your MAGJ is $60,000 or more ($120,000 or more for a joint return) If you (or your spouse) were a nonresident alien for any part of 2010, see IRS Pub 970

19 Tuition and Fees Deduction Up to $4000 of qualified tuition expenses may be deductible You do not need to itemize deductions to claim Deduction and education credit cannot be claimed for same student

20 You Cannot Claim Tuition and Fees Deduction if: Another person can claim an exemption for you as a dependent on his or her tax return, even if s/he does not actually claim that exemption Your filing status is married filing separately Your MAGJ is $80,000 or more (or $160,000 or more for a joint return) If you (or your spouse) were a nonresident alien for any part of 2010, see IRS Pub 970

21 Lifetime Learning Credit vs. Tuition and Fees Deduction Lifetime Learning Credit: Dollar-fordollar credit (deduction) against your federal tax Tuition and Fees Deduction: Reduces your taxable income before you calculate federal tax

22 Student Loan Interest Deduction Deduct up to $2,500 of interest paid during 2010: on loans taken to pay qualified education expenses for yourself, your spouse, or your dependent You do not need to itemize deductions to claim Loan cannot be from a relative or an employer

23 You Cannot Claim Student Loan Interest Deduction if: You are claimed as a exemption on someone else s tax return Your filing status is married filing separately You are not legally obligated to pay interest on a qualified student loan. Your MAGJ is $75,000 or more ($150,000 or more for a joint return)

24 Education Expense Deduction Work-related education expenses may be deducted as a business deduction on Schedule A or C To qualify for this deduction, the education or training must: maintain or improve your skills in your current trade or business, and cannot qualify you for a new trade or business

25 Cancellation of Student Loan Cancellation of debt generally results in taxable income May be tax-free if loan contains a provision that debt will be canceled if you work: For a certain period of time In certain professions, and For any broad class of employers

26 Loan Repayment Programs Loan repayment programs provide student loan repayment assistance to participants on the condition that those participants provide certain services.

27 Student Loan Repayment Assistance Beginning in 2004, student loan repayment assistance received under the following programs is tax-free: National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Program State programs eligible for funds under the Public Health Service Act Law school LRAP

28 Double Tax Benefits Expenses paid with tax-free income are not qualifying expenses for credits or deductions Each qualifying expense can be used for only one tax benefit (credit, deduction, or exclusion)

29 Federal Income Tax System is Pay-As-You-Go You must pay tax as you earn or receive income during the year There are two ways to pay: Withholding Estimated Tax Payments For more info, see IRS Publication 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax

30 Exempt From Withholding You may claim an exemption from withholding only if In 2010 you had a right to a refund of all federal income tax withheld In 2011 you expect a refund of all federal income tax withheld Failure to withhold may result in an estimated tax penalty

31 Estimated Tax You must make estimated tax payments for 2011 if both of the following apply: You will owe at least $1,000, after subtracting withholding and credits Your withholding and credits will be less than the smaller of: 90% of your 2011 tax 100% of your 2010 tax

32 How To Figure Payments Estimated Tax Payments Use worksheet in instructions to Form 1040-ES to figure estimated taxes Withholding Use worksheets on Form W-4 to figure your withholding allowances Revise your estimate whenever your situation changes

33 When to Pay Estimated Taxes Quarterly Payments due: April 18, 2011 June 15, 2011 Sept. 15, 2011 January 17, 2012

34 5 Ways to Pay Estimated Taxes 1) By crediting an overpayment on your 2010 return to your 2011 estimated tax 2) By check with a payment voucher from Form 1040-ES 3) Electronically by using the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System 4) By electronic funds withdrawal when you file Form 1040 or Form 1040A electronically 5) By credit card on a pay-by-phone system or the Internet

35 The quick, easy, smart way to get your taxes done! Personal Computer Through the Internet (freefile) Approved Tax Preparation Software Tax Preparation Services VITA/TCE Tax Professional

36 Resources Websites Internal Revenue Service: CA Franchise Tax Board: Electronic Federal Tax Payment System:

37 Resources Toll-free assistance: ask tax questions order forms/pubs pre-recorded info refund info IRS Tax Assistance Centers 450 Golden Gate Avenue, SF 1301 Clay Street, Oakland

38 More Resources Free Tax Preparation Earn It! Keep It! Save It! or 211 Free File Alliance Access free web-based filing options through

39 The End For more information: IRS Publication 970 (2010)

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