Your Life

Your Life

Major life milestones often have a major tax impact. Changes in your marital status, having a baby or adopting a child can have significant impact on your taxes. This is the place to ask questions about dependents, real estate, and other various scenarios that play a significant role in what taxes you pay.

Posts: 1
Registered: ‎02-09-2018

police academy training program

20 year old son was a college student for 4 months Jan thru april.  Then joined the Detroit police academy 6 month program.  The program is paid.  Is he still considered a student for dependent status?

Associate (Neighbor)
Posts: 220
Registered: ‎07-22-2014

Re: police academy training program

According to Publication 17, a student is:


Student defined.

To qualify as a student, your child must be, during some part of each of any 5 calendar months of the year:

  1. A full-time student at a school that has a regular teaching staff, course of study, and a regularly enrolled student body at the school, or

  2. A student taking a full-time, on-farm training course given by a school described in (1), or by a state, county, or local government agency.

The 5 calendar months don’t have to be consecutive.


School defined.

A school can be an elementary school, junior or senior high school, college, university, or technical, trade, or mechanical school. However, an on-the-job training course, correspondence school, or school offering courses only through the Internet doesn’t count as a school.



Based on this definition from the IRS, I would say that your son does not qualify as a student for dependent status, since the 6-month academy program is an on-the-job training course.  If he were not paid for the training, my opinion would change. 


Hope this helps!