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Hi all you financiers:

Curious question on behalf of gf: She is a community college student
having had Work Study income in 2009, which, for her own EIC benefit, we're hoping to declare it, especially since she has little other income.

As of writing on Feb. 3, she has not received a W-2, but has received a 1098-T. As best as we can tell, the Box 5 line, Scholarships and Grants, does include the work study portion. Is it even possible to declare that as earned income insofar as EIC and Pay to work credit too.

Or if there's any other credits to which she may be entitled?

The PELL and TAP (NYS grant, fyi) covered her qualifed tuition expenses, unless there is some refundable qualified expenses she may claim of which we're unaware?

We were really hoping to show her how to file her own taxes, pretty much for the firt time.
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As of writing on Feb. 3, she has not received a W-2, but has received a 1098-T. As best as we can tell, the Box 5 line, Scholarships and Grants, does include the work study portion. Is it even possible to declare that as earned income insofar as EIC and Pay to work credit too.

Check out IRS Publication 970 for the treatment of grants, etc. All of the tax credits and other benefits are discussed in that publication also.

As for the EITC unless she's over 25 or has a child living with her, she's not eligible.

Phil
Rule Your Retirement Home Fool
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The PELL and TAP (NYS grant, fyi) covered her qualifed tuition expenses, unless there is some refundable qualified expenses she may claim of which we're unaware?

In 2009, books became a qualified expense on the federal return. They probably aren't reflected in the numbers on the 1098-T. Depending on whether the Pell grant and TAP exceed the qualified tuition billed by the community college, she might be able to claim some qualified expense for the American Opportunity Credit, which is 40% refundable.

On the NY side, books still aren't qualified expense. So the NY tuition credit is out, since the grants cover the qualifying expenses.

If the work study is earned income, she should get a W-2. But as Phil notes, she won't be able to get EIC unless she is at least 25 years old or has a qualifying child.

We were really hoping to show her how to file her own taxes, pretty much for the firt time.

If there's a VITA program close to where she goes to school, I'd recommend she use that. The people there will see enough cases of tuition credits for both federal and NY purposes that they should find whatever credits she's eligible for. If she were sitting down in front of me, I'd take a close look at the tuition and at whether she might qualify for the NY real property tax credit (NY Form IT-214). That one is typically so small that a paid tax preparer will charge more for the form than the credit is worth, and the taxpayer only gets it if phase of the moon aligns correctly with her income and rent.

Of course, most if not all of the credits don't happen if she can be claimed as a dependent on her parents' return.

Patzer
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