If you’re going to college, there’s a decent chance you’ll get some financial assistance. Scholarships, grants, federal student loans, and private student loans are all possibilities. Borrowers typically do not pay taxes on student loans, although they may owe on portions of scholarships and grants. The amount of financial help you get might total tens of thousands of dollars every year. And this begs the question: Do student loans count as income?
The answer to this question may be significant for a variety of reasons. For example, if you want to apply for a credit card, you might worry whether financial aid counts as income for credit card approval. However, for many students, the most essential question is – “Is financial aid considered income?”
So… Are Student Loans Taxable?
Student loans are a typical way for people to pay for college. And the good news is that, whether you take out federal or private student loans, this form of financial help is usually never taxed. This is due to the expectation that you would repay the borrowed funds in the future.
However, if your debts are forgiven in the future and you repay less than the full total, the forgiven amount is normally considered taxable income. Student loan forgiveness tax is another concept altogether so getting an answer to the question ‘Do student loans count as income’ is quite complicated.
While there are rare exceptions, such as when you qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness or Teacher Loan Forgiveness, you are usually taxed on the amount you did not repay. This is true even if you earned forgiveness after meeting the payment conditions of an income-driven repayment plan for federal student loans.
So, while the answer to the question “do student loans count as income?” is normally no if the aid you’re referring to is student loans, it’s likely you’ll wind up paying taxes on borrowed cash in the future if the loans don’t have to be paid back in full.
What Counts As Taxable Income For Students?
- A Part Of Scholarships And Grants – Are college scholarships taxable? Scholarships and grants are available in various amounts. Scholarships utilised for purposes other than tuition, books, and supplies will be subject to taxation. You would owe taxes on the $3,000 difference if you won a $15,000 scholarship and spent $12,000 on tuition but the rest on room and board. You’ll also get a tax bill if you get paid to lecture or do research for scholarships or grants.
- Tuition Assistance Programmes – To recruit talent, several firms provide tuition reimbursement or student loan forgiveness. The downside of these schemes is that employee contributions may be taxed. You must pay taxes on any amount paid toward your education that exceeds $5,250 in a calendar year, and your employer must declare the taxable part on your W-2 form.
- Student-Athlete Stipends – These stipends, like scholarships and grants, are taxed when spent for room, board, and/or incidentals.
- Federal Work-Study Programmes – Work-study income is taxed whether you earn a salary or hourly compensation as an undergraduate or graduate student. Your school will provide you with a W-2 form that has all of the information you need to report your earnings.
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What Types Of Financial Aid Won’t Be Taxed?
In this blog on ‘Do student loans count as income?’, we have not only elaborated on student loans and taxes, but we’ve mentioned a few other types of financial aid which won’t be considered as income.
- Student loans – Private and government student loans are often not taxed since they must be repaid. However, this does not put you ahead of the game because you will still be required to return the sum at some time.
- A few expenses from scholarships and grants – Scholarships and grants are utilised to cover certain fees. According to the IRS, you must be a degree-seeking student at a qualified educational institution, and the funds must be used for books, supplies, and tuition and fees in order for them to be deducted from your taxable income. You’ll have to pay taxes on the money you spend on accommodation and board, travel, and miscellaneous expenses.
- Room and board – Dorm resident advisors, or RAs, work hard hours and deal with a little drama, but the position comes with rewards, including free housing and board. These benefits are normally exempt from income tax.
- College saving plans – Certain types of accounts can grow tax-free if they are used to pay for eligible school expenditures. If you have a 529 plan, you can withdraw up to $10,000 tax-free from your account to repay eligible student loans or apprenticeship programme fees. However, read the fine print: For tax-free withdrawals, each type of account has its own set of restrictions.
As you can see, there is no proper answer to the question – Do student loans count as income? The good news is that the IRS has made it simple to determine whether your specific student aid should be considered taxable or not.
You may use the agency’s interactive online tool to see if you need to include your scholarship, fellowship, or educational award money as income when filing your tax return. You can use the tool to complete a few basic questions and obtain a definite response to the question, “Do student loans count as income?”
Thank you for reading this blog on ‘Do student loans count as income’? If you’d like to read more, check out these blogs –
- Pros And Cons Of Refinancing Student Loans
- How To Pay Off Student Loans Fast?
- Most Googled Questions About Student Loans