Do I Pay Taxes as a Student? The Low Down on Student Tax Exemption

student tax exemption

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  • I’m in college, am I tax exempt?

    As a college student, you may be wondering if a student tax exemption exists while you’re still in school.

    College is expensive enough without having to worry about income, tuition, and paying for taxes.

    When you’re in college, you should know that you’re not automatically exempt from filing, however. For certain student workers, students who aren’t earning income, or for students who are claimed as dependents, these may be situations where you may qualify for an exemption.

    This guide will go over who is or isn’t exempt and why.

    Do College Students Pay Taxes?

    Just the fact that you are a college student isn’t a determining factor alone on whether or not you need to pay taxes while enrolled in school. If you have a job, earn over a certain amount in income, and are a U.S. Citizen, for example, you’ll likely need to pay taxes and file a tax return. Just being a full-time college student doesn’t exclude you from paying taxes in most cases.

    If you have a job where you don’t receive a regular pay stub, a company like PayStubCreator can help you with income verification that you can use for renting apartments, acquiring student loans, or buying a car, when you don’t have a tax return to use either.

    Who Is Exempt From Federal Income Tax?

    For some students, there are certain factors that can determine if you don’t need to file a tax return and pay taxes. Exemption factors include the amount of your earned and unearned income, whether or not you’re claimed as a dependent on a tax return, your filing status, as well as your age.

    If your income is below the required amount for your age, for example, you don’t need to file a tax return. If you are claimed as a dependent by your parents and you don’t have any income, you also don’t need to file a tax return.

    Let’s say you aren’t required to file one for any of those reasons but you earned income this year, you may still want to file a tax return because you may qualify for a refund.

    Not only is a refund, money in your pocket, a tax return can also be used to verify your yearly earnings when applying for credit.

    Should a Student Claim Exempt on W4?

    To determine if you should claim exempt on a W-4 form, check the government’s website. You’ll also want to complete a new W-4 form each year as your financial or personal situation changes each year.

    Your income may change each year and your dependent status may change as well so you’ll always want to look at each year differently.

    Student Tax Exemption Explained

    There is an exemption available for students who work for the institution in which they are enrolled.

    If you’re enrolled in school at least half-time and work for the school in order to pursue an area of study, you may qualify for a student worker tax exemption.

    There are a few conditions however that must be met in order for you to be exempt from paying taxes. First of all, you can’t just be employed by the school as a part-time job doing any task. The job you hold must be one that helps you pursue your degree.

    other valuable tips:

    Let’s say you’re aiding a teacher while getting your graduate degree in education or you’re a medical resident. Your education and courses must also be the predominant use of your time. This means that you must be enrolled in school at least half-time to be exempt.

    Filing Your Taxes

    College is an expensive but amazing time in your life. While filing taxes as a college student can be confusing, you may receive a refund that can help you save money, buy books, or pay tuition while in school.

    In some cases, you may also qualify for student tax exemption or not be required to file them at all.

    To learn more about finances, taxes, and tuition, check out the tools section for helpful money management tools.

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    Image source: Adobe Stock royalty-free image #180564708, ‘Documents with title tax exempt on an office table.’ uploaded by designer491, standard license purchased from; file retrieved on September 19th, 2019. License details available at – image is licensed under the Adobe Stock Standard License

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