Question

I paid many expenses for my child in college. The expenses include tuition, First Apartment Expenses, rent, utilities, and credit card bills. Since she’s in college, are there any Deductible College Expenses I can claim?

Answer

If your child qualifies as a dependent, you might qualify for an education credit or deduction on your return. This is based on qualified education expenses for your child. Personal expenses for things like rent, food, and utilities aren’t deductible.

You can claim the American Opportunity Credit if your daughter meets these requirements:

  • She’s a candidate for one of these:
    • A degree
    • A certificate
    • Other recognized educational credential
  • She’s at least a half-time student for one academic period during the year.
  • She hasn’t completed the first four years of post-secondary study.
  • She has no state or federal felony drug convictions.
  • Your adjusted gross income (AGI) is:
    • Less than $160,000 if you’re married filing jointly
    • Less than $80,000 if you’re filing single or married filing separately

If your daughter qualifies for this credit, her qualifying educational expenses include:

  • Tuition
  • Required enrollment fees
  • Any course materials (Ex: textbooks) required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible institution

If your daughter doesn’t qualify for that credit, she might qualify for one of these:

  • Lifetime Learning Credit — Tuition and fees are qualifying expenses. Books don’t qualify unless you pay the cost for them directly to the school as a condition of enrollment.
  • Tuition and fees deduction — These are qualifying expenses if you pay them directly to the school as a condition of enrollment:
    • Tuition
    • Fees
    • Course-related material

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