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IRS.gov Website

Frequently Asked Tax Questions

Itemized Deductions/Standard Deductions - Education & Work-Related Expenses

  1. What types of educational expenses are deductible?
  2. Can I deduct the cost of classes I need for work?
  3. Am I eligible to claim both my job-related education expenses (minus 2% of AGI) and the Lifetime Learning Credit on my tax return?
  4. My employer included my graduate school tuition reimbursements on my W-2 as wages. Where do I claim these education expenses on my Form 1040?
  5. How do I claim an educational expense on my return?
  6. What are the limits for deducting interest paid on a student loan?
  7. Last year, my parents took out a student loan for me in their name and I also took out a student loan. My parents received Form 1098-E for their loan and I also received Form 1098-E for my loan. Can we both claim the interest from the loans on our tax returns? Last year, I was not their dependent.

Rev. date: 1/1/2011

What types of educational expenses are deductible?

Deductible educational expenses include:

Rev. date: 1/1/2011

Can I deduct the cost of classes I need for work?

In some cases, you may be able to deduct the cost of classes you need for work.
 

Rev. date: 1/1/2011

Am I eligible to claim both my job-related education expenses (minus 2% of AGI) and the Lifetime Learning Credit on my tax return?

If you are eligible to deduct educational expenses and are also eligible for one of the education credits (the Hope Scholarship Credit, the Lifetime Learning Credit, or the American Opportunity Tax Credit), then it is possible to claim both. You cannot use the SAME educational expenses (no “double benefit”) to claim both benefits.

Rev. date: 1/1/2011

My employer included my graduate school tuition reimbursements on my W-2 as wages. Where do I claim these education expenses on my Form 1040?

If your graduate school tuition is deductible and the reimbursements are included in your income as wages, you may take the expense as a miscellaneous itemized deduction on Form 1040 Schedule A  (PDF), Itemized Deductions.

Rev. date: 1/1/2011

How do I claim an educational expense on my return?

As an employee, you may be able to deduct qualified work-related education expenses as an itemized deduction.
Self-employed individuals include educational expenses as deductions on one of the following forms:
The tuition and fees deduction may be claimed on Form 1040.
The education credits may be claimed for Form 8863.

Rev. date: 1/1/2011

What are the limits for deducting interest paid on a student loan?

The maximum deductible interest on a qualified student loan is $2,500 per return. 

There is no deduction if:

Rev. date: 1/1/2011

Last year, my parents took out a student loan for me in their name and I also took out a student loan. My parents received Form 1098-E for their loan and I also received Form 1098-E for my loan. Can we both claim the interest from the loans on our tax returns? Last year, I was not their dependent.

Since you were not your parents' dependent when they took out the student loan, the interest they paid on the loan does not qualify for the student loan interest deduction.