Figure 2-1. Can You Claim the American Opportunity Credit for 2009?

Summary: This flowchart is used to determine if you qualify to claim the American opportunity Credit for 2009.

Start

This is the start of the flowchart.

Decision (1)

Did you pay qualified education expenses in 2009 for an eligible student?*

Decision (2)

Did the academic period for which you paid qualified education expenses begin in 2009 or the first 3 months of 2010?

Decision (3)

Is the eligible student you, your spouse (if married filing jointly), or your dependent for whom you claim an exemption on your tax return?

Decision (4)

Are you listed as a dependent on another person"s tax return?

Decision (5)

Is your filing status married filing separately?

Decision (6)

For any part of 2009, were you (or your spouse) a nonresident alien who did not elect to be treated as a resident alien for tax purposes?

Decision (7)

Is your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) less than $90,000 ($180,000 if married filing jointly)?

Decision (8)

Are you claiming a lifetime learning credit or a tuition and fees deduction for the same student?

Decision (9)

Did you use the same expenses to claim a deduction or credit, or to figure the tax-free portion of a Coverdell ESA or QTP distribution?

Decision (10)

Were the same expenses paid with tax-free educational assistance?

Decision (11)

Did you, or someone else who paid these expenses on behalf of a student, receive a refund of all the expenses?

Process (a)

You cannot claim the American opportunity credit for 2009.

Process (b)

You can claim the American opportunity credit for 2009.

End

This is the end of the flowchart.

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