This is a horrible year for taxes for me. All I have is a W-2, a 1098-T, and a 1099-INT which seems like it should be easy enough. I have been doing my own taxes for years and I have no clue if I've got it right this year. None. Nada. I don't want to pay someone to do my taxes because I think on principle that I should be able to do them myself, but now I'm just not sure.
The main problem stems from my fellowship and the fact that UBC did not take taxes from my paychecks. Other people in the same situation at UBC have received all kinds of varying tax advice, including some very liberal interpretations of qualified educational expenses. Most of the students ahead of us have not paid taxes on the fellowship. My cohort is totally confused.
Tuition waivers further confuse the picture, though those are clearly qualified educational expenses. But, it appears that my waivers and my stipend both appear on my 1098-T. I have no idea how to interpret my 1098-T.
In addition to the fellowship and tuition waiver confusion, I received $3,000 in grants last year that were given to me personally, not administered by an institution. Apparently these are taxable. I have no idea how to deduct the research expenses that these funds were used for, or if I even can.
I'm 99% sure that I am supposed to pay income tax on all of the above, except for the tuition waiver. However, when I calculate my taxes using one of those online filing services, I only owe about 25% of what I set aside in anticipation of paying taxes. How can this be right?
Why can't I figure this out myself?!?!? Help? Suggestions?
On the bright side, I have only lived in one state this year.