Tax Implications of Student Status
Questions have been raised about the various definitions of a student and when they apply.
CORRECTION TO YOU CAN DO IT! GUIDE:
American Opportunity Credit: The “Benefits Related to Education” discussion on page 49 of this
The half-time definition should not be confused with the use of the full-time student definition of an individual 19 to under 24 that is used for a number of other tax preparation purposes such as whether the student is considered a Qualifying Child (QC) for a taxpayer’s Dependency Exemption, Earned Income Tax Credit, and/or Head of Household filing status. That definition includes the language “ You were a full-time student during some part of each of any 5 calendar months of the year...” (note that the five months do not have to be consecutive)
In other situations, the full-time student definition applies to the student when you answer the question “whether you can be claimed (or are claimed) as a dependent (QC or QR)”, whether you qualify for the refundable part of the American Opportunity Credit, and/or whether you qualify for the retirement “Saver’s Credit.” (IRS Publications such as 17, 501, 970, and/or 4012 should be referred to for more complete explanations)Return to Trending Topics