Student Loan Interest

Is there a way to claim interest on a student loan that you are paying but is in your parents name, if you have all the documentation proving you’ve paid it?

Obviously, the interest deduction can only be claimed by you or you parents. The government will be sending a 1099-E to the person whose identification number is tied to the loan. That is technically the person who should be claiming the deduction.

Generally, you can claim the deduction if all of the following requirements are met.

  • Your filing status is any filing status except married filing separately.
  • No one else is claiming an exemption for you on his or her tax return.
  • You are legally obligated to pay interest on a qualified student loan.
  • You paid interest on a qualified student loan.
Claiming an exemption for you.   Another taxpayer is claiming an exemption for you if he or she lists your name and other required information on his or her Form 1040 (or Form 1040A), line 6c, or Form 1040NR, line 7c.
Example 1

During 2013, Josh paid $600 interest on his qualified student loan. Only he is legally obligated to make the payments. No one claimed an exemption for Josh for 2013. Assuming all other requirements are met, Josh can deduct the $600 of interest he paid on his 2013 Form 1040 or 1040A.

Example 2

During 2013, Jo paid $1,100 interest on her qualified student loan. Only she is legally obligated to make the payments. Jo’s parents claimed an exemption for her on their 2013 tax return. In this case, neither Jo nor her parents may deduct the student loan interest Jo paid in 2013.

 

Interest Paid by Others. If you are the person legally obligated to make interest payments and someone else makes a payment of interest on your behalf, you are treated as receiving the payments from the other person and, in turn, paying the interest.

Example 3

Darla obtained a qualified student loan to attend college. After Darla’s graduation from college, she worked as an intern for a nonprofit organization. As part of the internship program, the nonprofit organization made an interest payment on behalf of Darla. This payment was treated as additional compensation and reported in box 1 of her Form W-2. Assuming all other qualifications are met, Darla can deduct this payment of interest on her tax return.

Example 4

Ethan obtained a qualified student loan to attend college. After graduating from college, the first monthly payment on his loan was due in December. As a gift, Ethan’s mother made this payment for him. No one is claiming a dependency exemption for Ethan on his or her tax return. Assuming all other qualifications are met, Ethan can deduct this payment of interest on his tax return.