Grad students frequently choose to prepare their federal and state tax returns using tax software, but using software to prepare an accurate return is not always as straightforward as it should be. The difficulty grad students may encounter when using tax software depends on the type(s) of tax documentation their universities and funding sources send them. Before you start using tax software, you’ll need to think about your grad student income and assess the tax forms you received.
These guides include step-by-step instructions for entering your grad student income and qualified education expenses into different brands of tax software. Preparing the remainder of your return, which might include other sources of income and non-educational deductions and credits is up to you to research.
For the purposes of these guides, I imagined a hypothetical grad student with stipend income.
The ‘personal information’ relevant to the student’s taxes is:
- 24 years old
- living in Durham, NC
- not a dependent; doesn’t have dependents
The student received a $25,000 stipend. Her scholarships totaled $22,000 and her qualified education expenses totaled $20,000. If she had taxes withheld, they were $1,500 for federal tax and $1,000 for state tax.
Parent post: Grad Student Income Tax Guide: 2016 Edition
We at Grad Student Finances are not tax professionals, and none of the content in this section should be taken as advice for tax purposes.