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Frequently Asked Tax Questions

Child Care Credit/Other Credits - Hope & Life Time Learning Educational Credits


Rev. date: 1/2010


How is the amount of an education credit determined?

previous topic occurrence Credit Hope next topic occurrence
previous topic occurrence Education Credits (American Opportunity, Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits) next topic occurrence
previous topic occurrence Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits next topic occurrence
previous topic occurrence Lifetime Learning Credit next topic occurrence
previous topic occurrence Tax Benefits for Education next topic occurrence

The amount of an education credit is determined by using Form 8863, Education Credits (American Opportunity, Hope, and Lifetime Learning Credits).

Rev. date: 1/2010


What expenses qualify for the education credits?

previous topic occurrence Education Credits (American Opportunity, Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits) next topic occurrence
previous topic occurrence Education Expenses next topic occurrence
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Expenses that qualify for an education credit are qualified tuition and related expenses required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution.
Qualified expenses do not include expenses for:

Rev. date: 1/2010


Do tuition and related expenses paid to attend a private high school qualify for the education credits?

previous topic occurrence Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits next topic occurrence

No. Expenses paid to attend a private high school do not qualify for the education credits because a high school is not an eligible educational institution.

Rev. date: 1/2010


Can I claim an education credit if I am married but file separately?

previous topic occurrence Education next topic occurrence
previous topic occurrence Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits next topic occurrence
previous topic occurrence Married Filing Separately next topic occurrence

No, a married individual filing a separate return can not claim an education credit.

Rev. date: 1/2010


If I pay college tuition and fees with a tax-free scholarship, can I claim an education credit on Form 8863 for those payments?

previous topic occurrence Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits next topic occurrence

No, you can not claim a credit for the amount of higher education expenses paid by a tax-free scholarship.

Rev. date: 1/2010


If the amount of my qualified tuition and related expenses is greater than the amount of my scholarship, may I claim the excess expenses on Form 8863?

previous topic occurrence Education Credits (American Opportunity, Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits) next topic occurrence
Form 8863
previous topic occurrence Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits next topic occurrence
previous topic occurrence Scholarships and Fellowships next topic occurrence
previous topic occurrence Tax Benefits for Education next topic occurrence
previous topic occurrence Tuition next topic occurrence

Yes, fill out Form 8863 (PDF), Education Credits (American Opportunity, Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits).

Rev. date: 1/2010


Can I claim the an education credit for higher education expenses paid by a government-subsidized loan?

previous topic occurrence Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits next topic occurrence

Higher education expenses paid by the proceeds of a government-subsidized loan may qualify for the credit if you must repay the loan. The credit is claimed in the year in which the expenses are paid, not in the year in which the loan is repaid.

Rev. date: 1/2010


Who can claim the Hope Credit?

previous topic occurrence Credit Hope next topic occurrence
previous topic occurrence Education Credits (American Opportunity, Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits) next topic occurrence
previous topic occurrence Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits next topic occurrence
previous topic occurrence Tax Benefits for Education next topic occurrence

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 and 2010, the American Opportunity Tax Credit modifies the Hope Credit as follows:
  1. The maximum amount of the credit is increased to $2,500.00.
  2. The credit can now be claimed for the first 4 years, not 2, of postsecondary education.
  3. The modified adjusted gross income limitations are increased.
  4. Qualified expenses include course materials.
  5. Generally, 40% of the Hope Credit is now refundable (up to $1,000).
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.

Rev. date: 1/2010


What is a Lifetime Learning Credit?

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The Lifetime Learning Credit is a nonrefundable tax credit with a dollar limit per family that is available for qualified tuition and related expenses of higher education, whether the student is at the undergraduate or graduate level.

Rev. date: 1/2010


Who can claim the Lifetime Learning Credit?

previous topic occurrence Education Credits (American Opportunity, Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits) next topic occurrence
previous topic occurrence Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits next topic occurrence
previous topic occurrence Lifetime Learning Credit next topic occurrence
previous topic occurrence Tax Benefits for Education next topic occurrence

Generally, you can claim the Lifetime Learning Credit if all three of the following requirements are met:
The Lifetime Learning Credit is based on qualified tuition and related expenses you pay for yourself, your spouse, or a dependent for whom you claim an exemption on your tax return.
For purposes of the Lifetime Learning Credit, an eligible student is a student who is enrolled in one or more courses at an eligible educational institution to acquire or improve job skills.
You cannot claim the Lifetime Learning Credit if any of the following apply:

Rev. date: 1/2010


Is an education credit available for the cost of a high school student taking college classes before graduation from high school?

previous topic occurrence Education Credits (American Opportunity, Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits) next topic occurrence
previous topic occurrence Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits next topic occurrence
previous topic occurrence Lifetime Learning Credit next topic occurrence
previous topic occurrence Postsecondary Educational Institution next topic occurrence
previous topic occurrence Student next topic occurrence
previous topic occurrence Tax Benefits for Education next topic occurrence

The cost of college classes taken while a student is attending high school may qualify for an education tax credit if the requirements for the credit are met.