Students have special tax situations and benefits. Understand how that affects you and your taxes.

Get general information about how to file and pay taxes, including many free services, by visiting How to file your taxes: step by step.

If you're filing a tax return, you may need to include scholarships and grants as taxable income. Tax benefits for higher education, such as loan interest deductions, credits and tuition programs, may help lower the tax you owe.

You may need to file a tax return depending on your gross income and whether your parents can claim you as a dependent. Find out if you need to file a tax return and if you can be claimed as a dependent.

Keep in mind that scholarships and grants are typically tax free, but there may be situations where you have to include them in taxable income.

You may be able to get a refund even if you aren’t required to file. For example, you may qualify for a refund if you worked a part-time or full-time job for the year and your Form W-2 shows federal and state withholding.

If you have student loans or pay education costs for yourself, you may be eligible to claim education deductions and credits on your tax return, such as loan interest deductions, qualified tuition programs (529 plans) and Coverdell Education Savings Accounts.

For more information, see tax benefits for education.

Students who are dependents on their parents' tax returns aren’t generally eligible to claim education credits. In this case, the student’s parents may be eligible to claim the education deductions and credits.

IRS partnered with the Department of Education (ED) to simplify the online process to apply for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and Income Driven Repayment (IDR) plans by providing limited tax information necessary to verify income for these programs directly to ED. The automated process will happen in real-time. ED will then release tax data to the college or career school's financial aid office and the annual recertification of income for adjustment of student loan repayment plans.

For more information, see Tax information for federal student aid applications.