I have a question about student tax credit — What college student tax credit am I able to claim for my education expenses?
For 2018, 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.
Changing jobs can come with tax implications like job search and moving expense deductions. Learn more about these potential benefits at H&R Block.
What does it mean to be an enrolled agent? Learn more about the roles and requirements of enrolled agent (EA) tax preparers at H&R Block.
Learn how to deduct student loan interest with H&R Block. Get information about qualified education expenses and see if a student loan tax deduction applies to you.
Virtual tax preparations let you complete your taxes online from the comfort of your home. Find out how easy remote tax preparations can be at H&R Block.