You may be able to deduct qualified education expenses paid during the year for yourself, your spouse, or your dependent(s). You cannot claim this deduction if your filing status is married filing separately or if another person can claim an exemption for you as a dependent on his or her tax return. The qualified expenses must be for higher education, as explained later under Qualified Education Expenses
The tuition and fees deduction can reduce the amount of your income subject to tax by up to $4,000.
This deduction is taken as an adjustment to income. This means you can claim this deduction even if you do not itemize deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040). This deduction may be beneficial to you if you do not qualify for the American opportunity, Hope, or lifetime learning credits.taxmap/pubs/p970-033.htm#en_us_publink1000240493
To qualify for the special rules, a student must attend an eligible educational institution in a Midwestern disaster area. See Table 4-2
at the end of chapter 4 for a list of qualifying disaster areas. For the expanded definition of qualified education expenses, see Students in Midwestern disaster areas
under Qualified Education Expenses
, later in this chapter.
You can choose the education benefit that will give you the lowest tax. You may want to compare the tuition and fees deduction to one or more of the education credits (chapters 2
, and 4
Table 7-1 taxmap/pubs/p970-033.htm#en_us_publink1000178323
summarizes the features of the tuition and fees deduction.
The following rules will help you determine if you can claim the tuition and fees deduction.taxmap/pubs/p970-033.htm#en_us_publink1000178324
Generally, you can claim the tuition and fees deduction if all three of the following requirements are met.
"Qualified Education Expenses"
- You pay qualified education expenses of higher education.
- You pay the education expenses for an eligible student.
- The eligible student is yourself, your spouse, or your dependent for whom you claim an exemption on your tax return.
are defined on the next page. "Eligible students" are defined later under Who Is an Eligible Student
. A "dependent for whom you claim an exemption" is defined later under Who Can Claim a Dependent's Expenses
Table 7-1. Tuition and Fees Deduction at a Glance Do not rely on this table alone. Refer to the text for complete details.
|What is the maximum benefit?|| ||You can reduce your income subject to tax by up to $4,000. |
|Where is the deduction taken?|| ||As an adjustment to income on Form 1040 or Form 1040A. |
|For whom must the expenses be paid?|| ||A student enrolled in an eligible educational institution who is either:|
• your spouse, or
• your dependent for whom you claim an exemption.
|What tuition and fees are deductible?|| ||Tuition and fees required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible postsecondary educational institution, but not including personal, living, or family expenses, such as room and board. |
You cannot claim the tuition and fees deduction if any of the following apply.
- Your filing status is married filing separately.
- Another person can claim an exemption for you as a dependent on his or her tax return. You cannot take the deduction even if the other person does not actually claim that exemption.
- Your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is more than $80,000 ($160,000 if filing a joint return).
- You (or your spouse) were a nonresident alien for any part of 2009 and the nonresident alien did not elect to be treated as a resident alien for tax purposes. More information on nonresident aliens can be found in Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.
- You or anyone else claims an American opportunity, Hope, or lifetime learning credit in 2009 with respect to expenses of the student for whom the qualified education expenses were paid.