I’m a full-time student who earns income, but someone else paid my tuition. Can I claim any tuition tax credits?
You can use education payments made by your parents or third parties to claim tuition tax credits if both of these are true:
- You’re a student.
- You qualify to claim an education credit.
Payments made on your behalf are considered gifts to the student.
However, if you, your parent, or a third party didn’t pay any qualifying expenses, you can’t qualify for education credits. If you paid for other qualifying expenses besides tuition, you might still be eligible to claim the tuition tax credits.
What qualifies as an education expense varies based on which credit you’re claiming. Ex: Textbooks and course materials qualify for the American Opportunity Credit if they’re required for enrollment. But books won’t qualify for the Lifetime Learning Credit unless you’re required to buy them from the institution itself. Buying them at the school bookstore won’t qualify.
Also, if you’re a dependent on anyone’s return, you can’t claim an education credit.
What’s the difference between an enrolled agent (EA) vs. a certified public accountant (CPA)? Explore the roles of EAs and CPAs at H&R Block.
If you’re itemizing deductions, the IRS generally allows you a medical expenses deduction if you have unreimbursed expenses that are more than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income for tax years 2017 or 2018. You can deduct the cost of care from several types of practitioners at various stages of care.
Are political contributions tax deductible? Before signing a check, learn the difference between charitable giving and political donations at H&R Block.
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.