My financial circumstances:
- I am a full-time undergraduate student employed by the university through the federal work-study program.
- I expect my total income for the year of 2016 to be a little over $800.
- Over $13,000 of my academic expenses is paid for by "free" money (federal grants, state grants, and scholarships)
- A federal student loan (subsidized) in the amount of $3,500.
- A federal student loan (unsubsidized) in the amount of $2,000.
- Close to $1,000 in out of pocket expenses for books and other fees for the Fall semester.
I have never filed my own taxes, but I have thought about doing so for 2017. My mom and I are currently in disagreement about whether she should claim me as a dependent on her next tax return. Essentially, she is afraid of losing a significant chunk of the large refund she gets by claiming me. I am trying to convince her that I would be better off filing taxes even with my miniscule income, since I found out that I can claim educational expenses (such as my subsidized loan) on my taxes in order to receive money through the American Opportunity Tax Credit. What should I do?