Specific Instructions

You must complete a separate Part III on page 2 for each individual for whom you are claiming either credit before you complete Parts I and II.

Part I — Refundable American Opportunity Credit

Line 1

Enter the amount from Part III, line 30. If you are claiming the American opportunity credit for more than one student, add the amounts from each student's Part III, line 30, and enter the total for those students on line 1.

Line 3

Enter your modified adjusted gross income. Generally, your modified adjusted gross income is the amount on your Form 1040, line 38, or Form 1040A, line 22. However, if you are filing Form 2555, Form 2555-EZ, or Form 4563, or are excluding income from Puerto Rico, you must include on line 3 the amount of income you excluded. For details, see Pub. 970.

Line 7

If you were under age 24 at the end of 2014 and the conditions listed below apply to you, you cannot claim any part of the American opportunity credit as a refundable credit on your tax return. Instead, you can claim your allowed credit, figured in Part II, only as a nonrefundable credit to reduce your tax.

You do not qualify for a refundable American opportunity credit if 1 (a, b, or c), 2, and 3 below apply to you.

1. You were:
  a. Under age 18 at the end of 2014, or
  b. Age 18 at the end of 2014 and your earned income (defined later) was less than one-half of your support (defined later), or
  c. Over age 18 and under age 24 at the end of 2014 and a full-time student (defined later) and your earned income (defined later) was less than one-half of your support (defined later).
2. At least one of your parents was alive at the end of 2014.
3. You are not filing a joint return for 2014.

If you meet these conditions, check the box next to line 7, skip line 8, and enter the amount from line 7 on line 9. If these conditions do not apply to you, complete line 8.

You can answer the following questions to determine whether you qualify for a refundable American opportunity credit.

  1. Were you under age 24 at the end of 2014?

    If no, stop here; you do qualify to claim part of the allowable American opportunity credit as a refundable credit.

    If yes, go to question 2.

  2. Were you over age 18 at the end of 2014?

    If yes, go to question 3.

    If no, go to question 4.

  3. Were you a full-time student (defined later) for 2014?

    If no, stop here; you do qualify to claim part of your allowable American opportunity credit as a refundable credit.

    If yes, go to question 5.

  4. Were you age 18 at the end of 2014?

    If yes, go to question 5.

    If no, go to question 6.

  5. Was your earned income (defined later) less

    than one-half of your support (defined later) for 2014?

    If no, stop here; you do qualify to claim part of your allowable American opportunity credit as a refundable credit.

    If yes, go to question 6.

  6. Were either of your parents alive at the end of 2014?

    If no, stop here; you do qualify to claim part of your allowable American opportunity credit as a refundable credit.

    If yes, go to question 7.

  7. Are you filing a joint return for 2014?

    If no, you do not qualify to claim part of your allowable American opportunity credit as a refundable credit.

    If yes, you do qualify to claim part of your allowable American opportunity credit as a refundable credit.

Earned income.   Earned income includes wages, salaries, professional fees, and other payments received for personal services actually performed. Earned income includes the part of any scholarship or fellowship grant that represents payment for teaching, research, or other services performed by the student that are required as a condition for receiving the scholarship or fellowship grant. Earned income does not include that part of the compensation for personal services rendered to a corporation which represents a distribution of earnings or profits rather than a reasonable allowance as compensation for the personal services actually rendered.

  If you are a sole proprietor or a partner in a trade or business in which both personal services and capital are material income-producing factors, earned income also includes a reasonable allowance for compensation for personal services, but not more than 30% of your share of the net profits from that trade or business (after subtracting the deduction for one-half of self-employment tax). However, if capital is not an income-producing factor and your personal services produced the business income, the 30% limit does not apply.

Support.   Your support includes food, shelter, clothing, medical and dental care, education and the like. Generally, the amount of an item of support will be the amount of expenses incurred by the one furnishing such item. If the item of support is in the form of property or lodging, measure the amount of such item of support by its fair market value. To figure your support, count support provided by you, your parents, and others. However, a scholarship received by you is not considered support if you were a full-time student (defined below) for 2014.

Full-time student.   Solely for purposes of determining whether a scholarship is considered support, you were a full-time student for 2014 if during any part of any 5 calendar months during the year you were enrolled as a full-time student at an eligible educational institution (defined earlier), or took a full-time, on-farm training course given by such an institution or by a state, county, or local government agency.

Part II — Nonrefundable Education Credits

Line 9

Enter the amount from line 9 on line 2 of the Credit Limit Worksheet, later.

Line 10

Enter the amount from Part III, line 31. If you are claiming the lifetime learning credit for more than one student, add the amounts from each student's Part III, line 31, and enter the total for all those students on line 10.

Line 14

Generally, your modified adjusted gross income is the amount on your Form 1040, line 38, or Form 1040A, line 22. However, if you are filing Form 2555, Form 2555-EZ, or Form 4563, or are excluding income from Puerto Rico, you must include on line 14 the amount of income you excluded. For details, see Pub. 970.

Line 18

Enter the amount from line 18 on line 1 of the Credit Limit Worksheet, later.

Line 19

Enter the amount from line 7 of the Credit Limit Worksheet here and on Form 1040, line 50; or Form 1040A, line 33.

Credit Limit Worksheet
Complete this worksheet to figure the amount to enter on line 19.
1. Enter the amount from Form 8863, line 18 1.  
2. Enter the amount from Form 8863, line 9 2.  
3. Add lines 1 and 2 3.  
4. Enter the amount from:    
  Form 1040, line 47; or    
  Form 1040A, line 30 4.  
5. Enter the total of your credits from either:    
  Form 1040, lines 48 and 49,    
  and Schedule R, line 22; or    
  Form 1040A, lines 31 and 32 5.  
6. Subtract line 5 from line 4 6.  
7. Enter the smaller of line 3 or line 6 here and on Form 8863, line 19 7.  

You must complete Part III for each student for whom you are claiming either the American opportunity credit or lifetime learning credit before you complete either Part I or Part II. Use additional copies of page 2 as needed for each student.

Part III — Student and Educational Institution Information

Line 20

Enter the student's name as shown on page 1 of your tax return.

Line 21

Enter the student's taxpayer identification number as shown on page 1 of your tax return.

Line 22

If the student attended only one educational institution, enter the information about the institution and answer the questions about Form 1098-T in column (a). If the student attended a second educational institution, enter the information and answers for the second educational institution in column (b). If the student attended more than 2 educational institutions, attach an additional page 2 completed only through line 22.

If the educational institution has a foreign address, enter the foreign address here and do not abbreviate the country name. Follow the country's practice for entering the postal code and name of the province, country, or state.

Line 23

If the American opportunity credit has been claimed for this student for any 4 tax years before 2014 (including any year for which the Hope scholarship credit was claimed for the student), the American opportunity credit cannot be claimed for this student for 2014. Check “Yes” and go to line 31.

If the American opportunity and Hope scholarship credits have been claimed for this student for 3 or fewer prior tax years, check “No.” See Student qualifications, earlier.

Line 24

Check “Yes” if the student enrolled at least half-time for at least one academic period that began or is treated as having begun (see below) in 2014 at an eligible educational institution in a program leading towards a postsecondary degree, certificate, or other recognized postsecondary educational credential. Otherwise, check “No.

If any qualified education expenses for the student were paid in 2014 for an academic period beginning in the first 3 months of 2015, treat that academic period as if it began in 2014. See Student qualifications and Prepaid Expenses, earlier.

If you checked “Yes,” go to line 25. If you checked “No,” the student is not eligible for the American opportunity credit; skip lines 25 through 30 and go to line 31.

Line 25

Check “Yes” if the student completed the first 4 years of postsecondary education before 2014. Otherwise, check “No.

A student has completed the first 4 years of postsecondary education before 2014 if the educational institution has awarded the student 4 years of academic credit at that institution for postsecondary coursework the student completed before 2014. Disregard any academic credit awarded solely on the basis of the student's performance on proficiency examinations.

If you checked “No,” go to line 26. If you checked “Yes,” the student is not eligible for the American opportunity credit; skip lines 26 through 30 and go to line 31.

Line 26

Check “Yes” if the student was convicted, before the end of 2014, of a federal or state felony for possession or distribution of a controlled substance.

If you checked “No,” complete lines 27 through 30 for this student. If you checked “Yes,” the student is not eligible for the American opportunity credit; skip lines 26 through 30 and go to line 31.

You cannot claim the American opportunity credit and the lifetime learning credit for the same student in the same year. If you complete lines 27 through 30 for this student, do not complete line 31.

American Opportunity Credit

Line 27

Enter the student's adjusted qualified education expenses for line 27. See Qualified Education Expenses, earlier. Use the Adjusted Qualified Education Expenses Worksheet, later, to figure each student's adjusted qualified education expenses. Do not enter more than $4,000. Enter the total of all amounts from all Parts III, line 30, on Part I, line 1.

Lifetime Learning Credit

Line 31

Enter the student's adjusted qualified education expenses for line 31. See Qualified Education Expenses, earlier. Use the Adjusted Qualified Education Expenses Worksheet, next, to figure each student's adjusted qualified education expenses. Enter the total of all amounts from Part III, line 31, on Part II, line 10.

Adjusted Qualified Education Expenses Worksheet 
See Qualified Education Expenses, earlier, before completing.

Complete a separate worksheet for each student for each academic period beginning or treated as beginning (see below) in 2014 for which you paid (or are treated as having paid) qualified education expenses in 2014.

1. Total qualified education expenses paid for or on behalf of the student in 2014 for the academic period    
2. Less adjustments:    
  a. Tax-free educational assistance received in 2014 allocable to the academic period      
  b. Tax-free educational assistance received in 2015 (and before you file your 2014 tax return) allocable to the academic period      
  c. Refunds of qualified education expenses paid in 2014 if the refund is received in 2014 or in 2015 before you file your 2014 tax return      
3. Total adjustments (add lines 2a, 2b, and 2c)    
4. Adjusted qualified education expenses. Subtract line 3 from line 1. If zero or less, enter -0-    

If you are claiming an education credit for more than one student, complete a separate Part III for each student before returning to page 1 to complete Parts I and II.

If any qualified education expenses for the student were paid in 2014 for an academic period beginning in the first 3 months of 2015, treat that academic period as if it began in 2014. See Student qualifications and Prepaid Expenses, earlier.


More Online Instructions