As the federal tax return deadline approaches, I am starting to plan for taxes. However, I don't understand why the room and board expenses in a scholarship are taxable. I am an independent student who doesn't have any income and receives a need-based aid from my institution.
IRS states that anything that's not tuition or a required expense is taxable. After taking out the standard deduction, I think I still calculated about $1000 in tax.
If I am receiving help to pay for something that I can't afford, why do I have to pay for it?
Also, is there any way to minimize the tax I will have to pay?
This is my first time filing taxes. Thank you.