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How many college tax credits can I claim on my return?

You can only claim one education credit per student on a return. Ex: You decide to claim the American Opportunity Credit for yourself. That means you can't claim the Lifetime Learning Credit college tax credit for yourself as well.

Also, you might be able to take a deduction for student loan interest you paid. To do so, you must have made eligible student loan interest payments. You can claim this deduction even if you’re claiming an education credit.

You can combine college tax credits with tax-free distributions from both of these:

  • Coverdell Education Savings Account
  • Qualified tuition program (QTP)

You can’t use the same expenses for both benefits.

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So how much will you get (or owe) this year? That’s the million-dollar question. We happen to have three very useful calculators to help you estimate your refund or balance due.

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