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I'm a full time student in New York during the school year, and I live in Massachusetts as a dependent of my parents. I've earned $500 as a teacher's assistant out of state (NY) this year and I have a paying internship in state (MA) this year. Trying to understand the tax return guidelines is quite difficult, as I'm pretty new to the work force and I have a bit of a predicament with my earnings for the internship.

I read online that in order to qualify for the full-time student tax exemption, my earnings can't exceed $6,350. (I'm not entirely sure if that's accurate or how well I understood the article) So I'm wondering, right now if I'm approaching that $6,350 mark and I still have a few weeks left of income, should I put in my upcoming hours as volunteer work to avoid the 30% blow to my income?

Edit: It looks like that threshold is actually $12,000 in 2018 and is based on the standard deduction: https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/when-does-your-child-have-file-tax-return.html

Source for $6,350: https://studentaffairs.jhu.edu/studentemployment/student-information/handbook/tax-information/exempt-maryland-federal-withholding/

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    You need to verify the income limits. Perhaps you can speak to your accountant or your family's accountant? If your numbers are correct then it's a no brainer that you don't want to take a 30% hit that could have been avoided. – Bob Baerker Aug 3 '18 at 12:56
  • @Bob Baerker: Must be interesting to live at a level where you can talk of a family accountant as a normal thing, let alone a full-time student having one. – jamesqf Aug 3 '18 at 16:33
  • To be clear: there is no exemption for being a student, full-time or otherwise. There is no Federal income tax, and no filing requirement, if your income is under the standard deduction amount (formerly plus your exemption if not dependent, but in 2018 personal exemptions are gone), and typically students earn less and thus are under that limit. Yes the standard deduction for single is $12,000 in 2018 up from $6,350 in 2017 because of TCJA. Also the first Federal brackets (up to $38.7k taxable income) are only 10% and 12%; I don't know MA but it can't possibly be 20%. – dave_thompson_085 Aug 3 '18 at 20:36
  • @jamesqf - I imagine that if one was a student and an orphan then having a family accountant might be a problem. An one does not have to "live at a level" to speak to one's accountant. All of my life I have been able to talk to a "family accountant as a normal thing" even when I earned less than $20,000 a year a lonnnng time ago. That includes my lawyer as well. If you don't have that ability with the professionals that you deal with, you might want to consider looking for other ones. – Bob Baerker Aug 5 '18 at 22:59
  • @Bob Baerker: Perhaps it's more of a lifestyle thing? I've been in the workforce for several decades, a good part of that as a well paid SWE and independent contractor, and I've never seen the slightest reason to deal with an accountant. Likewise lawyers: maybe I'm just lucky (or too smart/careful to have been caught :-)), but my only professional interactions have been when I was called for jury duty. I don't see why the great majority of the population would be different. – jamesqf Aug 7 '18 at 3:36
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I read online that in order to qualify for the full-time student tax exemption, my earnings can't exceed $6,350. (I'm not entirely sure if that's accurate or how well I understood the article) So I'm wondering, right now if I'm approaching that $6,350 mark and I still have a few weeks left of income, should I put in my upcoming hours as volunteer work to avoid the 30% blow to my income?

I am addressing this based on the old tax laws, because the article you linked to mentions 2017. The numbers change with the new tax law but my point is still true with the new tax law.

The standard deduction for 2017 income was $6,350. This means that if your taxable income was less than $6,350 then your federal income tax would be zero.

But lets say your taxable income was $7,350 then your tax would be based on the amount over $6,350. In other words the tax would be based on the $1,000. In that case that would put you in the 10% tax bracket for 2017, so you would have to pay $100 (10% of $1,000).

While the numbers and rules have changed in 2018 the way the brackets work did't change. The income listed for the bracket only applies to the part of your income that falls in that bracket. Moving a small amount into the next bracket only impacts the portion in the upper bracket.

The numbers and laws regarding state/local taxes are another issue, but how those brackets work don't differ from how the federal brackets work.

Note: you linked to an article for students at a Maryland school, who also have a connection to NY. Your question is about NY and Massachusetts.

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