I have a question about student tax credit — What college student tax credit am I able to claim for my education expenses?
For 2017, the student tax credit examples that follow are the only credits available to most students:
The American Opportunity Credit:
- Allows a maximum student tax credit of $2,500 per student of these costs:
- Course materials
- Covers both of these:
- 100% of the first $2,000 of qualified expenses
- 25% of the next $2,000 of expenses
- Is usually available to degree-seeking students during the first four years of their post-secondary education
Textbooks required for a course are a qualifying college student tax credit expense for the American Opportunity Credit. This is true regardless of where you buy them.
The Lifetime Learning Credit:
- Allows a credit of 20% of the student’s first $10,000 of qualifying expenses. The maximum credit is $2,000 per return.
- Is available to students taking at least one post-secondary course that’s either:
- Part of a degree program
- Taken to acquire or improve job skills
Textbooks aren’t qualifying student tax credit expenses for the Lifetime Learning Credit. There’s an exception if you have to buy books directly from the institution (not the bookstore) as a condition of attendance.
You can deduct the costs of work-related education as a business expense if either of these applies to your education:
- It’s required by your employer or by law to keep your present salary, status, or job.
- It maintains or improves skills needed in your present work.
If you deduct the expenses as business expenses, you can’t claim them for college student tax credit, too.
Looking for virtual tax help with your online filing? Learn more about your options by comparing TurboTax Live to H&R Block Tax Pro Review and Tax Pro Go.
Tax preparers can have various designation and specialties. Learn how different types of tax preparers at H&R Block can help you in person or virtually.
If you need help handling an estate, we're here to help. Learn how to file taxes for a deceased loved one with H&R Block.
Do you have unreimbursed expenses to include on your tax return? Learn how to claim unreimbursed employee expenses with IRS Form 2106.