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W-4 - Allowances, Excess FICA, Students, Withholding

Question: As a full-time student, am I exempt from federal taxes?


Status as a full-time student does not exempt you from federal taxes. If you are a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident, the factors that determine whether you owe federal income taxes or must file a federal income tax return include:

  • The amount of your earned and unearned income
  • Whether you can be claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return
  • Your filing status, and
  • Your age

If your income is below the amount of the filing requirement for your age, filing status, and dependency status, and no other filing requirement applies, you do not owe federal taxes on your income and you do not have to file a federal income tax return. Even if you are not required to file an income tax return, you may choose to file a return if you are entitled to a refund of withheld income tax or estimated tax, or you are eligible for a refundable credit. For more information on filing requirements, refer to Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction and Filing Information.

See Form W-4 (.pdf), Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate, to determine if you may claim exemption from income tax withholding. Consider completing a new Form W-4 each year and when your personal or financial situation changes.

For related topics, see Tax Information for Students.

Additional Information:

Category: IRS Procedures
Subcategory: W-4 - Allowances, Excess FICA, Students, Withholding

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The OMB number for this study is 1545-1432.
If you have any comments regarding this study, please write to:
IRS, Tax Products Coordinating Committee
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Washington, DC 20224