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Ask A CPA - Educational Tax Benefits

College Tuition And Room And Board

Qualified educational expenses would include tuition and required fees, but would not include room and board, insurance, transportation or other personal living or family expenses, medical expenses, supplies or equipment. The credits are subject to income limitations. The credits are not available for married filing separate returns. Both credits are claimed on IRS Form 8863. The American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning credits are two federal credits available for qualifying higher education expenses paid to eligible educational institutions. There may also be similar state credits or deductions available. Generally, the American Opportunity credit is available for the qualified expenses for the first 4 years of post-secondary education leading to a degree. The Lifetime Learning credit is available for both degree and non-degree courses. This includes undergraduate courses not claimed as a American Opportunity credit, graduate studies, and students acquiring or improving their job skills.

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