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How do I claim Education Credits?

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Question
How do I claim Education Credits?

Answer

If you (or your dependent) paid qualified expenses during the tax year for yourself, your spouse, or your eligible dependent to enroll in or attend an eligible educational institution, you may be able to take an Education Credit. See Form 8863 for details. (We will calculate your credit based on information your provide in the interview).  You will find education credits listed under the CREDITS tab in the federal program.

However, you CANNOT take an Education Credit if ANY of the following apply:

  • You are claimed as a dependent on someone's (such as your parent's) tax return for the year
  • Your filing status is Married Filing Separately.
  • Your MAGI is the following.
  • a.  For the American opportunity credit: $180,000 or more if married filing jointly, or $90,000 or more if single, head of household, or qualifying widow(er) with dependent child.
    b.  For the lifetime learning credit: $134,000 or more if married filing jointly, or $67,000 or more if single, head of household, or qualifying widow(er) with dependent child. 
  • You (or your spouse) were a nonresident alien for any part of the tax year unless your filing status is Married Filing Jointly.

Rules That Apply to Both Credits

What Expenses Qualify?
Generally, qualified expenses are amounts paid during the tax year for tuition and fees required for the student's enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution. It does not matter whether the expenses were paid in cash, by check, by credit card, or with borrowed funds.

Qualified expenses do not include amounts paid for:

  • Room and board, insurance, medical expenses (including student health fees), transportation, or other similar personal, living, or family expenses.
  • Course-related books, supplies, equipment, and nonacademic activities, except for fees required to be paid to the institution as a condition of enrollment or attendance.
  • Any course or other education involving sports, games, or hobbies, unless such course or other education is part of the student's degree program or (for the Lifetime Learning Credit only) helps the student to acquire or improve job skills.

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Article Details
Views: 1417 Created on: Jun 15, 2013
Date updated: Dec 12, 2018
Posted in: Credits

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