Tax filing for the jobless: Five ways to trim your tax bill

2. Deduct interest on your student loans

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    Jason Lewis, a junior at Middle Tennessee University in Murfreesboro, Tenn., picks up student loan information at the campus financial aid office in this 2004 file photo. Interest paid on student loans is often deductible on your tax return.
    Mark Humphrey / AP / File
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Interest on personal loans is usually not deductible, but in the case of a student loan, it might be. If you make less than $75,000, or if you are a couple that makes less than $150,000, you can deduct the interest that you paid on student loans for higher education.

The loans can be for your own education, your spouse’s, or a dependent. In any case, the student must have been enrolled in at least a half-time program. The rule for who qualifies as a dependent is more flexible for student-loan interest deductions than it is in other cases. For instance, you can claim someone as a dependent, even if you are the dependent of another taxpayer. And somebody can be your dependent, even if that person files a joint return with a spouse.

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