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Tuition Expenses Are Deductible:IRS Form 1098-T

Updated on March 30, 2014

Tuition Tax Credits

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Form 1098-T

What is a IRS Form 1098-T and what do you do with it once you get it? This tax form is sent to you by any eligible educational institution to report the amount of your educational expenses. There are two types of educational credits you may be eligible for. One is called the American Opportunity Credit (formerly the Hope Credit) and the other is called the Lifetime Learning Credit. The amount of your educational credit would be entered on line 50 on form 1040. Both of these credits are considered tax credits which means that they are directly subtracted from your tax liability giving you a dollar for dollar credit. There are similarities and differences in these two education credits. Both are credits for educational expenses such as; tuition, books, fees, or any expense that is a condition of your enrollment. The differences are outlined below.

Step By Step

Hope Credit And Lifetime Learning Credit

Hope Credit

With the Hope Credit. each student may be eligible for up to $1800.00 of qualified expenses. It is only available for the first two years of college and only for two years per student. In addition, each student must be enrolled at least half time, be pursuing an undergraduate degree and not have a felony drug conviction on their record; (evidently, any other type of felony is permitted).

Lifetime Learning Credit

The Lifetime Learning Credit, on the other hand, is available for any and all years of post secondary education and any courses or classes that are taken to improve one's job skills. It can be taken for an unlimited number of years as long as the student has eligible expenses and a criminal record is not taken into consideration. The monetary limits are 20% of up $10,000.00 per return. So even if there are more than one student eligible for that credit, each return can only reflect one credit to it's monetary limit.

In claiming the credit, you must fill out form 8863 and attach it to your 1040 form. Once you have figured your credit, report it on line 50 of your 1040 form. For more information, see Pub. 970 of the IRS tax code.

Source: Liberty Tax Service, 2009

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More Tax Relief

There are also other programs called Qualified Tuition Programs or Section 529 tuition plans that can be used as a savings account for tuition for yourself or your child. When these funds are disbursed and used for tuition, the money is generally not taxable. Please note, however, that while there is no income limit, the contributions to the account are subject to a gift tax. For low or middle income taxpayers, the life time learning credit and the American Opportunity Credit (formerly The Hope Credit) are still viable in 2013.

Whittenburg, G.E. & Altus-Buller, M., (2014). Income Tax Fundamentals 2014 Edition. Mason, OH: South-Western, Cengage Learning.

© 2009 Mary Krenz


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      Elie 4 years ago

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