FAQ: Education Credits
|Question: Do tuition and related expenses paid to attend a private high school qualify for an education credit?|
|Answer: No. Expenses paid to attend a private high school do not qualify for an education credit because a high school is not an eligible educational institution.In general, an eligible educational institution is an accredited college, university, vocational school, or other postsecondary educational institution. In addition, in order to be an eligible educational institution, the school must be eligible to participate in a student aid program administered by the Department of Education.|
|Question: What expenses qualify for an education credit?|
|Answer: Expenses that qualify for an education credit are qualified tuition and related expenses paid by the taxpayer during the taxable year. Qualified tuition and related expenses are tuition and fees required for the enrollment or attendance of the taxpayer, the taxpayer’s spouse or the taxpayer’s dependent at an eligible educational institution for courses of instruction. An eligible educational institution means a college, university, vocational school or other postsecondary educational institution that is accredited and eligible to participate in the student aid programs administered by the Department of Education.Qualified tuition and related expenses do not include the following types of expenses:
In general, qualified tuition and related expenses generally do not include the costs of books, supplies and equipment, because eligible educational institutions usually do not require payment of those costs to the institution as a condition of the student’s enrollment or attendance. For taxable years 2009 through 2012, however, qualified tuition and related expenses include costs of course materials, as well as tuition and fees, required for the student’s enrollment or attendance at an eligible education institution.
|Question: Who can claim the Hope Credit or the American Opportunity Credit?|
|Answer: Generally, you can claim the Hope Credit if all three of the following requirements are met:
You cannot claim the Hope Credit if any of the following applies:
In general, the Hope Credit is based on tuition and related expenses required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution.
For a taxpayer to claim the Hope Credit, the student for whom you pay tuition and related expenses must be an eligible student. To be an eligible student, generally, the student must:
For tax years 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012, the American Opportunity Tax Credit modifies the Hope Credit as follows:
However, for a student who attended an educational institution located in a Midwest disaster area, you can choose instead to claim the credit under the previous rules, but then you must use the previous rules for all students for whom you claim the credit.