2Ls - Are you filing taxes this year?

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random5483
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2Ls - Are you filing taxes this year?

Postby random5483 » Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:34 pm

Not sure if I need to file taxes this year. I have not earned any money since June 2010 and will not receive any income till June/July 2012. However, I did earn ~50k a year for 3 years between 2007 and 2010.

Do I need to file taxes for 2011? I assume I don't need to because I had zero income (I did have a scholarship and some student loans/grants). Is there any benefit to filing taxes?

I assume some other 2Ls have the same question. I have asked some classmates and most seem unsure like myself. Do any of you 2Ls in a similar situation know the answer?


Thanks.

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ben4847
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Re: 2Ls - Are you filing taxes this year?

Postby ben4847 » Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:36 pm

If you really had zero income, there is no benefit in filing taxes unless there is some refundable tax credit which you are eligible for. (Like if you are a volunteer EMT, and have a car, you get 200 buck).

Now, if you are a "qualifying child," you should make sure your parents are claiming your valuable standard deduction. http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,, ... 98,00.html

random5483
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Re: 2Ls - Are you filing taxes this year?

Postby random5483 » Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:39 pm

ben4847 wrote:If you really had zero income, there is no benefit in filing taxes unless there is some refundable tax credit which you are eligible for. (Like if you are a volunteer EMT, and have a car, you get 200 buck).

Now, if you are a "qualifying child," you should make sure your parents are claiming your valuable standard deduction. http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,, ... 98,00.html



Thanks, that is what I thought. Just wanted to make sure because I filed income taxes the three preceding years. Unfortunately, I am not a qualifying child (age limit is 23 right?) because I took 3 years off school to work between undergrad and law school.

goodolgil
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Re: 2Ls - Are you filing taxes this year?

Postby goodolgil » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:17 pm

Isn't there something you get from paying tuition (even if from loans?). Because I made almost the same amount of money in 2010 as I did in 2009 but yet got a massive refund in 2010 (when I started school) and not in 2009. Though I suppose that may have been because I was having taxes withheld for a higher bracket than my annual income since I stopped working in August.

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ben4847
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Re: 2Ls - Are you filing taxes this year?

Postby ben4847 » Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:59 pm

I am not a lawyer.

random5483 wrote:
ben4847 wrote:If you really had zero income, there is no benefit in filing taxes unless there is some refundable tax credit which you are eligible for. (Like if you are a volunteer EMT, and have a car, you get 200 buck).

Now, if you are a "qualifying child," you should make sure your parents are claiming your valuable standard deduction. http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,, ... 98,00.html



Thanks, that is what I thought. Just wanted to make sure because I filed income taxes the three preceding years. Unfortunately, I am not a qualifying child (age limit is 23 right?) because I took 3 years off school to work between undergrad and law school.


That's why I linked the IRS website. You must be still 23 at the end of 2011. http://www.fourmilab.ch/ustax/www/t26-A-1-B-V-151.html

goodolgil wrote:Isn't there something you get from paying tuition (even if from loans?). Because I made almost the same amount of money in 2010 as I did in 2009 but yet got a massive refund in 2010 (when I started school) and not in 2009. Though I suppose that may have been because I was having taxes withheld for a higher bracket than my annual income since I stopped working in August.


Pretty sure the one for grad students is not a refundable credit, so you wouldn't get it unless you were paying taxes. See http://taxes.about.com/od/deductionscre ... Credit.htm

random5483
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Re: 2Ls - Are you filing taxes this year?

Postby random5483 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:11 am

ben4847 wrote:I am not a lawyer.

random5483 wrote:
ben4847 wrote:If you really had zero income, there is no benefit in filing taxes unless there is some refundable tax credit which you are eligible for. (Like if you are a volunteer EMT, and have a car, you get 200 buck).

Now, if you are a "qualifying child," you should make sure your parents are claiming your valuable standard deduction. http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,, ... 98,00.html



Thanks, that is what I thought. Just wanted to make sure because I filed income taxes the three preceding years. Unfortunately, I am not a qualifying child (age limit is 23 right?) because I took 3 years off school to work between undergrad and law school.


That's why I linked the IRS website. You must be still 23 at the end of 2011. http://www.fourmilab.ch/ustax/www/t26-A-1-B-V-151.html

goodolgil wrote:Isn't there something you get from paying tuition (even if from loans?). Because I made almost the same amount of money in 2010 as I did in 2009 but yet got a massive refund in 2010 (when I started school) and not in 2009. Though I suppose that may have been because I was having taxes withheld for a higher bracket than my annual income since I stopped working in August.


Pretty sure the one for grad students is not a refundable credit, so you wouldn't get it unless you were paying taxes. See http://taxes.about.com/od/deductionscre ... Credit.htm



I know you are not a lawyer and was not looking for legal advice :) My total tax liability for 2011 does not warrant such an expenditure (not to mention I never made the kind of money that would warrant such an expense!).

I do appreciate your input though. I was fairly sure I did not need to file taxes, but I wanted to make sure other similarly situated 2Ls were doing the same thing!


Thanks.

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ben4847
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Re: 2Ls - Are you filing taxes this year?

Postby ben4847 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:13 am

random5483 wrote:
ben4847 wrote:I am not a lawyer.


I know you are not a lawyer and was not looking for legal advice :)


I'm just being OCD about the bar question which asks if you've ever represented yourself as a lawyer.

random5483
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Re: 2Ls - Are you filing taxes this year?

Postby random5483 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:19 am

ben4847 wrote:
random5483 wrote:
ben4847 wrote:I am not a lawyer.


I know you are not a lawyer and was not looking for legal advice :)


I'm just being OCD about the bar question which asks if you've ever represented yourself as a lawyer.



I think the fact that this is a law student forum is a sufficient disclaimer. I do understand your concern though!




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