College tuition tax benefits and sales-tax free textbooks help put money back in your pocket
The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today reminded college students who earned income in New York State during 2016 to file their tax returns.
“Understanding tax responsibility and learning how to file a proper tax return are great life skills that students should be exploring,” said Acting Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Nonie Manion. “Students are often owed a refund from seasonal jobs in between semesters which can be used as spending money once they’re back on campus.”
While preparing a tax return, students will be asked for income information and expenses paid during the tax year. All New York taxpayers should maintain a file of tax documents to help simplify the filing process.
Determine filing status
Filing status is also used to determine a student’s filing requirements, standard deduction, and credit eligibility. The five filing statuses are:
- Married filing jointly;
- Married filing separately;
- Head of household; and
- Qualifying widow(er) with dependent child.
In addition to knowing their filing status, it’s important that students check with their parents to see if they’ll be claiming them as a dependent. If so, the IRS will help determine if you’re still required to file a return.
The best way for students to file their tax return is electronically. E-filing is easier, safer, faster, and more accurate. Plus, students with incomes of $64,000 or less are eligible to file for free using software available through www.tax.ny.gov.
Take advantage of money savers
New York State offers several money-savings programs, including credits and other tax benefits specifically for college students:
- College tuition credit or itemized deduction – Undergraduate students paying their own tuition—and not being claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return—could receive up to $400 in credit. Alternatively, taxpayers may claim an itemized deduction of up to $10,000 per student. See Form IT-272 for more information.
- Purchase course textbooks tax free – College textbooks are exempt from sales tax whether they’re purchased at a bookstore, by mail, online, or by any other means.
For more information