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IRS.gov Website
Publication 17
taxmap/pub17/p17-098.htm#en_us_publink1000263430

Tuition and Fees Deduction(p139)

rule
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 What Expenses Qualify.
The tuition and fees deduction can reduce the amount of your income subject to tax by up to $4,000.
Table 19-2 summarizes the features of the tuition and fees deduction.
Deposit
You may be able to take a credit for your education expenses instead of a deduction. You can choose the one that will give you the lower tax. See chapter 34, Education Credits, for details about the credits.
taxmap/pub17/p17-098.htm#en_us_publink1000263431

Can You Claim the Deduction(p140)

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The following rules will help you determine if you can claim the tuition and fees deduction.
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Who Can Claim the Deduction(p140)

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Generally, you can claim the tuition and fees deduction if all three of the following requirements are met.
  1. You paid qualified education expenses of higher education.
  2. You paid the education expenses for an eligible student.
  3. The eligible student is yourself, your spouse, or your dependent for whom you claim an exemption (defined in chapter 3) on your tax return.
Qualified education expenses are defined under What Expenses Qualify. Eligible students are defined later under Who Is an Eligible Student.
taxmap/pub17/p17-098.htm#en_us_publink1000263432

Who Cannot Claim the Deduction(p140)

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You cannot claim the tuition and fees deduction if any of the following apply.
taxmap/pub17/p17-098.htm#en_us_publink1000265850

Table 19-2. Tuition and Fees Deduction at a Glance
Do not rely on this table alone. Refer to the text for more details.
Question Answer
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, line 34, or Form 1040A, line 19.
For whom must the expenses be paid? A student enrolled in an eligible educational institution who is either:
• you,
• 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.


taxmap/pub17/p17-098.htm#en_us_publink1000172970

What Expenses Qualify(p140)

rule
The tuition and fees deduction is based on qualified education expenses you pay for yourself, your spouse, or a dependent for whom you claim an exemption on your tax return. Generally, the deduction is allowed for qualified education expenses paid in 2011 in connection with enrollment at an institution of higher education during 2011 or for an academic period (defined earlier under Student Loan Interest Deduction) beginning in 2011 or in the first 3 months of 2012.
taxmap/pub17/p17-098.htm#en_us_publink1000172972

Payments with borrowed funds.(p140)

rule
You can claim a tuition and fees deduction for qualified education expenses paid with the proceeds of a loan. Use the expenses to figure the deduction for the year in which the expenses are paid, not the year in which the loan is repaid. Treat loan payments sent directly to the educational institution as paid on the date the institution credits the student's account.
taxmap/pub17/p17-098.htm#en_us_publink1000172973

Student withdraws from class(es).(p140)

rule
You can claim a tuition and fees deduction for qualified education expenses not refunded when a student withdraws.
taxmap/pub17/p17-098.htm#en_us_publink1000172974

Qualified Education Expenses(p140)

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For purposes of the tuition and fees deduction, qualified education expenses are tuition and certain related expenses required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution.
taxmap/pub17/p17-098.htm#en_us_publink1000172975

Eligible educational institution.(p140)

rule
An eligible educational institution is any college, university, vocational school, or other postsecondary educational institution eligible to participate in a student aid program administered by the U.S. Department of Education. It includes virtually all accredited public, nonprofit, and proprietary (privately owned profit-making) postsecondary institutions. The educational institution should be able to tell you if it is an eligible educational institution.
Certain educational institutions located outside the United States also participate in the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid (FSA) programs.
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Related expenses.(p140)

rule
Student-activity fees and expenses for course-related books, supplies, and equipment are included in qualified education expenses only if the fees and expenses must be paid to the institution as a condition of enrollment or attendance.
taxmap/pub17/p17-098.htm#en_us_publink1000172978

No Double Benefit Allowed(p140)

rule
You cannot do any of the following.
taxmap/pub17/p17-098.htm#en_us_publink1000172980

Adjustments to qualified education expenses.(p140)

rule
If you pay qualified education expenses with certain tax-free funds, you cannot claim a deduction for those amounts. You must reduce the qualified education expenses by the amount of any tax-free educational assistance and refunds you received.
taxmap/pub17/p17-098.htm#en_us_publink1000172981
Tax-free educational assistance.(p140)
This includes:
taxmap/pub17/p17-098.htm#en_us_publink1000172982
Refunds.(p140)
Qualified education expenses do not include expenses for which you, or someone else who paid qualified education expenses on behalf of a student, receive a refund. (For information on expenses paid by a dependent student or third party, see Who Can Claim a Dependent's Expenses, later.)
If a refund of expenses paid in 2011 is received in 2011, simply reduce the amount of the expenses paid by the amount of the refund received. If the refund is received after 2011, see When Must the Deduction Be Repaid (Recaptured), in chapter 6 of Publication 970.
You are considered to receive a refund of expenses when an eligible educational institution refunds loan proceeds to the lender on behalf of the borrower. Follow the above instructions according to when you are considered to receive the refund.
taxmap/pub17/p17-098.htm#en_us_publink1000172984

Amounts that do not reduce qualified education expenses.(p140)

rule
Do not reduce qualified education expenses by amounts paid with funds the student receives as:
Do not reduce the qualified education expenses by any scholarship or fellowship reported as income on the student's tax return in the following situations.
taxmap/pub17/p17-098.htm#en_us_publink1000172985

Expenses That Do Not Qualify(p140)

rule
Qualified education expenses do not include amounts paid for: This is true even if the amount must be paid to the institution as a condition of enrollment or attendance.
taxmap/pub17/p17-098.htm#en_us_publink1000172988

Sports, games, hobbies, and noncredit courses.(p141)

rule
Qualified education expenses generally do not include expenses that relate to any course of instruction or other education that involves sports, games or hobbies, or any noncredit course. However, if the course of instruction or other education is part of the student's degree program, these expenses can qualify.
taxmap/pub17/p17-098.htm#en_us_publink1000172989

Comprehensive or bundled fees.(p141)

rule
Some eligible educational institutions combine all of their fees for an academic period into one amount. If you do not receive, or do not have access to, an allocation showing how much you paid for qualified education expenses and how much you paid for personal expenses, such as those listed above, contact the institution. The institution is required to make this allocation and provide you with the amount you paid (or were billed) for qualified education expenses on Form 1098-T, Tuition Statement. See How Do You Figure the Deduction, later, for more information about Form 1098-T.
taxmap/pub17/p17-098.htm#en_us_publink1000172991

Who Is an Eligible Student(p141)

rule
For purposes of the tuition and fees deduction, an eligible student is a student who is enrolled in one or more courses at an eligible educational institution (defined earlier). The student must have either a high school diploma or a General Educational Development (GED) credential.
taxmap/pub17/p17-098.htm#en_us_publink1000172992

Who Can Claim a Dependent's Expenses(p141)

rule
Generally, in order to claim the tuition and fees deduction for qualified education expenses for a dependent, you must: Table 19-3 summarizes who can claim the deduction.
taxmap/pub17/p17-098.htm#en_us_publink1000263433

How Much Can You Deduct(p141)

rule
The maximum tuition and fees deduction in 2011 is $4,000, $2,000, or $0, depending on the amount of your MAGI. For details on figuring your MAGI, see chapter 6 of Publication 970.
taxmap/pub17/p17-098.htm#en_us_publink1000263434

How Do You Figure the Deduction(p141)

rule
Figure the deduction using Form 8917.
To help you figure your tuition and fees deduction, you should receive Form 1098-T, Tuition Statement. Generally, an eligible educational institution (such as a college or university) must send Form 1098-T (or acceptable substitute) to each enrolled student by January 31, 2012.
To claim the deduction, enter the allowable amount on Form 1040, line 34, or Form 1040A, line 19, and attach your completed Form 8917.
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Table 19-3. Who Can Claim a Dependent's Expenses
Do not rely on this table alone. See Who Can Claim a Dependent's Expenses in chapter 6 of Publication 970.
IF your dependent is an eligible student and you...AND...THEN...
claim an exemption for your dependent you paid all qualified education expenses for your dependent only you can deduct the qualified education expenses that you paid. Your dependent cannot take a deduction.
claim an exemption for your dependent your dependent paid all qualified education expenses no one is allowed to take a deduction.
do not claim an exemption for your dependent, but are eligible to you paid all qualified education expenses no one is allowed to take a deduction.
do not claim an exemption for your dependent, but are eligible to your dependent paid all qualified education expenses no one is allowed to take a deduction.
are not eligible to claim an exemption for your dependent you paid all qualified education expenses only your dependent can deduct the amount you paid. The amount you paid is treated as a gift to your dependent.
are not eligible to claim an exemption for your dependent your dependent paid all qualified education expenses only your dependent can take a deduction.