10 Tax Breaks for Students to Lower Tuition Expenses
As a student, tuition expenses can be a significant financial burden.
You may have tax obligations and responsibilities depending on your specific situation. However, there are several tax breaks available that can help reduce the cost of education.
Here are 10 tax breaks for students to lower their tuition expenses:
1. American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC): The AOTC provides a credit of up to $2,500 per eligible student for qualifying expenses, including tuition, fees, and course materials.
2. Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC): The LLC provides a credit of up to $2,000 per tax return for tuition and fees paid for eligible students pursuing higher education.
3. Tuition and Fees Deduction: This allows eligible taxpayers to deduct up to $4,000 in tuition and fees paid for themselves, a spouse, or a dependent.
4. Student Loan Interest Deduction: Taxpayers can deduct up to $2,500 in interest paid on a qualified student loan.
5. Work-Related Education Deduction: This allows taxpayers to deduct expenses related to education that is required by an employer or necessary to maintain or improve job skills.
6. Employer-Provided Education Assistance: Employers can provide up to $5,250 in tax-free assistance to employees for education-related expenses.
7. Education Savings Accounts (ESA): ESAs allow parents to save up to $2,000 per year per child for educational expenses, including tuition, fees, books, and supplies.
8. 529 Plans: These state-sponsored investment plans allow tax-free withdrawals for qualified education expenses, including tuition, fees, and room and board.
9. Coverdell Education Savings Account: This account allows individuals to save up to $2,000 per year for educational expenses, including tuition, fees, and books.
10. Education Credits for Military: Military members and their families may be eligible for tax credits for education expenses, including the AOTC and LLC.
How can you prepare for tax season as a college student?
Determine your filing status: Your filing status will depend on several factors, including your marital status, whether you have dependents, and your income level. As a single college student, you will typically file as a single taxpayer.
Determine if you need to file a tax return: Whether or not you need to file a tax return will depend on your income level. For example, if you are single and under 65 years old, you generally need to file a tax return if your income is above $12,550 for the tax year 2021. However, this threshold can vary depending on your specific circumstances, so it's best to consult with a tax professional or use a tax preparation software to determine if you need to file.
Determine what forms to use: As a college student, you may receive several tax forms, including a W-2 form from any job you worked, a 1098-T form from your school for any tuition payments, and a 1099 form for any freelance or self-employment income.
Take advantage of tax credits: There are several tax credits available to college students, such as the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit, which can help offset the cost of tuition and other education-related expenses.
Keep records: Be sure to keep records of all of your income and expenses throughout the year so that you can accurately complete your tax return.
It's important to note that tax laws can be complex, and your specific situation may have unique circumstances that require additional guidance.
We do suggest that you consult with a CPA for your particular situation and needs for the best potential outcome.
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