The federal and PA rules for educational expenses are similar, but not exactly the same. For PA purposes, costs for education expenses that you pay or incur are allowable only if:
- The education is specifically required by law or by your employer to retain an established employment status or rate of compensation; and
- The education is not part of a program that would qualify you for a new occupation, trade, or business, even if you do not intend to enter that new occupation, trade, or business.
Unlike federal rules, you may not deduct education expenses that you incur to maintain or improve your skills.
EXAMPLE: Anthony is a licensed professional in a position that, by law, requires a specific number of continuing education credits every other year. If Anthony fails to obtain these credits, he will lose his license. Anthony also takes courses in using a computer to improve his job performance. Anthony may claim the cost of his continuing education courses. He may not claim the computer courses. You must answer question F1. If you answer YES, continue. If you answer NO, you may not claim any education expenses. You must answer questions F2 and F3. If you answer NO to both questions, continue. If you answer YES to either question, you may not claim any education expenses.
Enter the name of the college, university, or educational institution you attend, and your specific course of study. Your education must meet the requirements described above.
Enter the amount of tuition or fees you actually paid.
Enter the costs of your books and other materials required for your courses.
Enter the cost of travel. Pennsylvania follows the federal rules for travel expenses for education. CAUTION: You may not deduct costs of travel as educational expenses by claiming that the travel itself constitutes a form of education.