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Will reporting the information on my Form 1098-T increase my refund?
Your Form 1098-T can include qualifying expenses you paid during the year that make you eligible for an education credit. So, reporting this information could increase your refund. Whether is does -- and by how much -- depends on your tax liability and which credit you claim.
The Lifetime Learning Credit is nonrefundable, so the credit will reduce the amount of taxes you owe. It won't be returned to you as a refund if the credit is more than the taxes you owe. If you don't owe any taxes, this credit won't provide a tax benefit for you.
The American Opportunity Credit is partially refundable, so if you qualify, up to 40% of the credit could be refunded to you, even if you didn't owe any taxes. The remaining nonrefundable portion would be applied to your tax liability, but wouldn't be refunded to you if you didn't owe taxes.
The tuition and fees deduction is nonrefundable, so the deduction will reduce the amount of taxes you owe. It won’t be refunded to you if the deduction is more than the taxes you owe. If you don’t owe any taxes, this deduction won’t provide you a tax benefit.