Ben Todd | Apr 16, 2017 | 3
How To Get A Student Loan Tax Deduction
As with every tax article, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of our content in your particular state because the rules change so frequently. However, when it comes to college loans, we find that thing such as federal loans are similar from state to state, so the rules around tax reductions and tax deductions tend to be very similar. This article will help you fill in your tax return by highlighting a student loan deduction, and it offers information on a scheme that may help wipe up to 50% of your student loans off.
You May Claim A Set Amount As A Deduction Every Year
You may be able to claim a deduction of up to $2500. You cannot claim on the loan itself, but you can claim on the interest you have paid. This counts for federal loans, but may also count for your private loan if you had the loan specifically to pay for tuition.
You Are Only Claiming A Tax Deduction On The Interest You Pay
To claim a deduction based for the interest you pay, you need to have spend the loan on tuition, on learning materials and on your rent and bills. If you spent some of your college loan on consolidating your debts, on buying a car, and things of that nature, then you may not be able to claim that portion of the interest.
Research Your Tax Deduction To Check For Any Changes
The tax rule will need researching when you apply it to your tax return because the law may have changed between now and then, and the amount you are allowed to claim may have changed too. The tax deduction applies to private loans if they were used for your education, and for federal college/education loans.
You Do Not Get The Tax Deduction If You Are A High Earner
Your modified adjusted gross income has to be less than $80,000 in order to claim the deduction. If you file jointly because you are married, then that number rises to $160,000. Yet again, it seems that the people who work the hardest and earn the most are given the biggest screw job. Such policies encourage people to lower the amount they work because they are rewarded for it.
Your Parents Cannot Claim The Deduction
You cannot claim the tax deduction as a dependant. For example, your parents cannot claim the deduction on their tax return. That even includes if they are the ones paying your student loans. There are rules where parents may be able to claim the money they are paying off their taxes, but it doesn’t happen under any of the tax rules that apply to you as a student or graduate.
You Have To Be A Graduate…Or Maybe Not
If you are a graduate, then you should have paid interest on a qualified loan within the year for which you are filing. There is also an obscure rule where it says you have to be enrolled in a degree program at least half time, which is odd because most people do not start paying off their loan until after they graduate or leave college.
Many Students Are Able To Claim Their Loan Origination Fees Too
You may claim for your loan origination fees. If you qualify based on the things you have just read above, then you may claim for any of your loan origination fees as well as claiming for the interest you have paid. Remember, it has to be interest you have paid and not the interest you owe.
This is one of the things that you especially need to monitor in the news if you are getting a student loan soon or you are looking to deduct your origin fees. The origination fees (starting fees) on your loan may soon be a thing of the past, and you may soon be unable to claim your origination fees off your tax bill. The fees also keep going up on federal loans, and some private companies are claiming to be origination-fee free, and yet what they are actually doing is weaving their origination fees into the bulk of the loan itself and simply charging students a little bit more for their loans.
You Can Only Claim If You Have Actually Paid
You are able to claim up to $2500 of your capitalized interest on your student loan that has been added to your balance. Remember that you have to have made your in order to claim the interest on your tax return. For example, if you didn’t pay any loan payments during the last tax year because you didn’t have to (maybe you had a federal loan and didn’t earn enough to qualify for repayments). If that is the case and you didn’t make any payments, but the interest on your loan was still added on to your loan, you cannot claim for that interest amount.
Voluntary Interest Payments May Also Be Paid
You may claim for the interest on voluntary payments. Again, if you were not required to make any payments because you didn’t earn enough, but you still made a few payments, then you may claim a portion of your interest payments because you made voluntary interest payments during the year.
Even if you are unemployed and/or you are earning so little that you are not required to make your student loan payments, you should still make payments wherever you can. Not only will you be able to claim the interest back in your tax return, but you will also knock some of your debt off so that you do not have to struggle as long and as hard in the future. You are going to have to pay off the loan at some point, and sooner is usually better than later.
You Are Deducting Your Interest Payments And Not Your Loan Repayment Payments
Don’t forget that you may claim for the “Interest” that is applied to your loan, even if it is a private loan. This means that if you have refinanced your loan, then you may still keep claiming the interest payments as a deduction on your student loan. If you have consolidated your loan with your other debts, then you need to work out how much interest is being charged for your college loan only–and then claim that interest as a deduction.
Have You Considered A Civil Service Career?
If you have a federal loan, you may be able to have your loan forgiven if you become a civil servant. There is a lot of red tape, and it won’t happen overnight, but some civil servants have paid as little as 50% of their loan and had the other 50% forgiven.
The first thing you need to do is look up which civil service jobs offer loan forgiveness. There are only a limited few that offer the forgiveness perk. Before applying for the job (or maybe after being accepted), you need to register for loan forgiveness. You register for loan forgiveness and then jump whatever hoops the loan-forgiveness scheme asks you to.
In most cases, you have to work for an uninterrupted number of years in the same job in order to qualify for loan forgiveness. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program will forgive the remaining balance on your direct loan if you have made 120 qualifying payments every month while you have been working full time as a public or civil servant.
Loan Forgiveness Is Not A Small Issue
For those of you who haven’t done the math yet, 120 months is ten years. Can you stick with your government job for a full ten years and make every single loan payment while you do? Don’t forget that if you do, then you may have as much as 50% of your student loans forgiven. Plus, you can pay the minimum during the ten years. There is no need to pay extra money onto your student loan every month in order to pay it off quicker because it will be paid off in ten years.
Conclusion – You Can Knock Some Cash Off Your Student Loans
If you follow the advice on this article, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to knock a little money off your student loans by claiming the interest as a deduction. If you wish to go the more extreme route, then consider loan forgiveness. You may complain that your civil/public service job doesn’t pay enough, but if you sign up to the PSLF program, do your job for ten years, and make all your 120 payments, you will be able to wipe your student debt. You could wipe up to half of your student debt, which you would still have to work and earn money for if it were not paid off.
That means that you still come out on top, even if your public/civil service job doesn’t pay a high amount. Remember to check your state and national tax laws before you commit to anything with regards to your student loan deductions. Don’t forget that tax laws change all the time, so it is better if you do a little research before committing yourself.