5 Items college students can deduct from their taxes

Gabrielle Fanelli



Taxes. We hate to see them taken out of our paychecks, especially as students. We don't have the time to work 40 hours a week so our pay checks are already smaller. There are a few things students forget they can do to get the most money back when tax returns come around. It's not too late for you to start. 

Gas expenses:

We do a lot of driving as students. Save all of your gas receipts because if you have a job/internship, weekly/monthly doctor visits, or volunteer for a charity or non profit organization, you can write off your gas expenses.

For 2014, the standard mileage rates are as follows:

  • 56.5 cents per mile for business miles driven
  • 24 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organization

You can find out more information on how to calculate your milage by clicking here

Education Expenses (books, school supplies, etc.):

For students earning less than $60,000 (single-filers) or $120,000 (married, filing jointly), they can claim up to $2,000 education-related expenses. Think of how much money you spend per semester on books, school supplies and other equipment for your major. You can get some of that money back during tax season by saving your receipts and keeping track of those expenses while you're a student. 

Tuition and Fees:

"Students earning less than $80,000 (single) or $160,000 (married, filing jointly) can deduct up to $4,000 in tuition and fees on their annual tax returns." This tax break was actually extended on from 2013 when it was supposed to have concluded. (irs.gov). Being a student can actually get you more money back with your tax return. Tuition isn't cheap and the IRS understands that. If you claim yourself, showing how much you make per year as a student, it will be enough proof that you qualify for this deduction. 

Charitable donations:

It’s hard to overlook the big charitable gifts you made during the year by check or payroll deduction. But the little things add up and you can write off out-of-pocket costs while doing good deeds, like ingredients for casseroles you regularly prepare for a church’s youth group or tithing every Sunday at your church. Even the cost of stationary and stamps you buy for a mission trip fundraiser count. 

Your online portfolio:

Many freelancers and small business owners hire a web designer to take care of their websites for them or they invest time and money into designing it themselves.

You can actually write off a variety of expenses from your website/portfolio, its creation and its promotion. If you hire a graphic designer to create a logo or color scheme for your site, you can even write it off. If you hire a search engine marketer to juice your search ranking so your photography business can be found in Greenville, write it off. Even monthly or yearly hosting fees and the yearly domain fee are tax deductible. 

Be smart:

Save all of your receipts and bills if you want to do this correctly. You can’t just write down that you spent $100 in book fees without some sort of proof of purchase. Getting in the habit of saving your receipts can only help you in the future.