What is the college tuition credit or itemized deduction?
The college tuition credit is a tax credit allowed for the qualified college tuition expenses paid for an eligible student. The credit is available to full-year New York State residents only. If the credit exceeds your tax for the tax year, the excess credit will be refunded, without interest. The credit is limited to $400 per eligible student.
The college tuition itemized deduction may offer you a greater tax savings if you itemized your deductions on your New York return. The maximum deduction is $10,000 for each eligible student. Use the worksheets in these instructions to compute your college tuition itemized deduction and to determine which option (credit or deduction) is better for you.
You can claim the New York credit or deduction even if you claim a federal credit or deduction for qualified college tuition expenses. There is no limit on the number of eligible students for whom you may claim a credit or deduction. You may claim either the credit or the deduction, but not both.
Do I qualify for the college tuition credit or itemized deduction?
To qualify for the college tuition credit or itemized deduction, you, your spouse, or your dependent(s) must be an undergraduate student enrolled at or attending an institution of higher education and have paid qualified college tuition expenses in 2020. Only expenses for undergraduate enrollment or attendance qualify.
An institution of higher education includes any institution of higher education or business, trade, technical, or other occupational school located in or outside of New York State. The institution must be recognized and approved by either the regents of the University of New York or a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association accepted by the regents. In addition, the institution or school must provide a course of study leading to the granting of a post-secondary degree, certificate, or diploma.
Where referenced on the form and in these instructions, the term college or university includes all the above institutions.
If you are a New York State nonresident or part-year resident, you do not qualify for the college tuition credit. However, you may be eligible to claim the New York college tuition itemized deduction if you itemized your deductions on your New York return. Do not complete Form IT-272. See the instructions for Form IT-203-B, Nonresident and Part-Year Resident Income Allocation and College Tuition Itemized Deduction Worksheet.
If a student is claimed as a dependent on another person’s New York State tax return, only the person who claims the student as a dependent may claim the credit or itemized deduction. If a student is not claimed as a dependent on another person’s New York State tax return, the student may claim the credit or deduction.
Spouses filing separately – If you and your spouse are filing separate returns, you must each file a separate Form IT-272 to claim your credit or deduction. One spouse may claim the credit, and the other spouse may claim the itemized deduction. However, you must each claim your separately computed credit (or deduction) based only on the amount of qualified college tuition expenses you paid (or that were treated as if paid by you) for yourself, your spouse, or a person who you claim as a dependent on your separate return. You cannot claim expenses for a dependent claimed by your spouse.
How do I claim the college tuition credit or itemized deduction?
If you paid qualified college tuition expenses in tax year 2018, complete all sections of Form IT-272 that apply to you. For the credit, transfer the amount from line 5 or line 7 to the appropriate line on Form IT-201, Resident Income Tax Return. For the itemized deduction, see Part 4 on Form IT-272. Submit your completed Form IT-272 with your return.