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Household Size, Graduating College Student, Computing FPL
Old 09-03-2013, 04:44 PM   #1
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Household Size, Graduating College Student, Computing FPL

I think I have this figured out, but just thought I'd throw it out there in case I'm missing something.

When it comes to assessing the federal poverty levels, household size is an important input. From what I gather, household size is the same as the number of dependents on the federal tax form. I think I need to be interested in the 2014 tax form, since that's the year I want to analyze and control my MAGI.

So I started looking at the rules for who is a dependent and who is not, and wouldn't you know it, it gets into some details that I've never had to deal with before.

DD1 will graduate college in late May 2014 (already has accepted a job!!). She qualifies as a full time college student in 2014 (in school at least 5 months). The plan is that she will be supporting herself for the second half of 2014 (her start date is July 7th, 2014). The interview question in HRBlock at Home for dependency has a question about her gross income, which will be much more than the $3,800 (a 2012 value). That seems to be the critical question for knocking her out as a dependent on my return for 2014.

So it looks like my number, as it stands now is going to be $78,120 (not $94,200 as I was sticking in some of my spreadsheets). So if nothing else, for those of you with kids graduating, something to watch out for.
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Old 09-03-2013, 05:31 PM   #2
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I'd go to the IRS publications to research this further, Sengsational.

It's been three years since DD's graduation, but I believe one of the deduction tests I made was a comparison of the dollars she earned over the year vs. the dollars I spent on tuition and support during the first half. I don't remember a comparison to a $3800 +/- value (the dependent allowance?).

One other end-of-college tax issue you need to plan: whether to make next spring's tuition (and R&B?) payment in December or January. If you're receiving educational credits or deductions, it can make a measurable difference in the total tax bill over the two years.
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Old 09-03-2013, 10:50 PM   #3
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I'd go to the IRS publications to research this further, Sengsational.

It's been three years since DD's graduation, but I believe one of the deduction tests I made was a comparison of the dollars she earned over the year vs. the dollars I spent on tuition and support during the first half. I don't remember a comparison to a $3800 +/- value (the dependent allowance?).

One other end-of-college tax issue you need to plan: whether to make next spring's tuition (and R&B?) payment in December or January. If you're receiving educational credits or deductions, it can make a measurable difference in the total tax bill over the two years.
+1 from what I've read.

I'm in the same boat, DS graduates in May 2014. It looked like I'd have to pay more than half of his living expenses for 2014 to claim him as a dependent. If he finds a job quickly, that probably won't happen. I was looking for the tuition credit when I researched this. Now it looks like I'll Roth convert enough to blow through that, but the deduction still wouldn't hurt.
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Old 09-03-2013, 11:48 PM   #4
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Not sure what the education credit income limits are but if you make too much to qualify then she can claim them and get a nice refund on her 2014 taxes.
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Old 09-04-2013, 02:13 AM   #5
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I believe one of the deduction tests I made was a comparison of the dollars she earned over the year vs. the dollars I spent on tuition and support during the first half.
+2 DD graduated in June this year. In going over the IRS rules on this, her dependent status related to whether I provided more than 50% of her support for the year. I hope that by 2014 she will have a job and not be a dependent. She got her bachelor's degree in nursing.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:45 AM   #6
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+2 DD graduated in June this year. In going over the IRS rules on this, her dependent status related to whether I provided more than 50% of her support for the year. I hope that by 2014 she will have a job and not be a dependent. She got her bachelor's degree in nursing.

People are correct on the support percentage.... but remember, that is the cost of support and not how much income they make... IOW, if they make $50K, but you paid 100% of their support you get to claim them....


Now, that sucks for them as they have to pay more taxes.... but who cares....
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:16 AM   #7
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There are different rules for child versus relative. The child is not subject to the $3800 income test, whereas the relative is.

Publication 501 (2012), Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information
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Old 09-04-2013, 01:33 PM   #8
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Yea, someone finally looked it up for us! I was wondering where that $3800 came from.
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Old 09-04-2013, 01:57 PM   #9
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Not sure what the education credit income limits are but if you make too much to qualify then she can claim them and get a nice refund on her 2014 taxes.
That's what we did. It benefited her more than us. She became her own dependent.
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Old 09-07-2013, 01:49 PM   #10
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Thanks all. Even when I think I've got something figured out, the collective wisdom here gives me more to think about :-)
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