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American Opportunity Tax Credit Background

College students and their parents may qualify for the American Opportunity Tax Credit when filing their taxes.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act  (ARRA) authorized the AOTC to modify the Hope Credit for tax years 2009 and 2010.  

Under ARRA, the AOTC 

  • Can now be claimed by eligible taxpayers for four college years instead of two
  • Was made available to more taxpayers including many with higher incomes and those that owe no taxes
  • Can now be claimed for required course materials and other listed qualifying education expenses


The Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2010 extended the AOTC to tax years 2011 and 2012.


The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 extended AOTC through tax year 2017.


Return to the American Opportunity Tax Credit page

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 21-Aug-2015