As someone who has been preparing taxes for over 35 years at this time of the year many of my post will probably be on the subject of taxes in an effort to help fellow taxpayers.

If you are using the Free E-file programs on-line, to electronically file a tax return, and the tax return is for a student who can be claimed as a dependent on his or her parents' tax return, BE CAREFUL!
You can mistakenly check the wrong boxes, or not check the right boxes, depending upon the software and State's tax returns, that claim the personal exemption for the dependent, ON THE DEPENDENT'S TAX RETURN you are filing.
1. This prevents the parents from electronically filing a tax return and claiming the dependency exemption.
2. This prevents the parents from getting an electronic deposit of their own tax refund. The return will have to be paper filed, and the parents will have to wait 6 to 10 weeks or more for the refund.
3. This could be very expensive for single parents, especially if the student is the only dependent, the parent can no longer file as head of household.

Again, be very careful! An instant mistaken keystroke can cause you to wait months for your own money, not to mention the paperwork that is required to undo the mistake.