Figure 3-1. Can You Claim the Lifetime Learning Credit for 2011?

Summary: This flowchart is used to determine if you qualify to claim the lifetime learning credit for 2011.


This is the start of the flowchart.

Decision (1)

Did you pay qualified education expenses in 2011 for an eligible student?*
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Decision (2)

Did the academic period for which you paid qualified education expenses begin in 2011 or the first 3 months of 2012?

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 2011 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 $61,000 ($122,000 if married filing jointly)?

Decision (8)

Do you have a tax liability (Form 1040, line 46 minus lines 47, 48, and the amount from Schedule R entered on line 53) (Form 1040A, line 28 minus lines 29 and 30)?

Decision (9)

Are you claiming an American opportunity credit or a tuition and fees deduction for the same student?

Decision (10)

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 (11)

Were the same expenses paid with tax-free educational assistance such as a scholarship, grant, GI Bill, or assistance provided by an employer?

Decision (12)

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 lifetime learning credit for 2011.

Process (b)

You can claim the lifetime learning credit for 2011.


Footnote: Qualified education expenses paid by your dependent or by a third party for your dependent are considered paid by you.


This is the end of the flowchart.

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