Question: What expenses qualify for an education credit?
Expenses that qualify for an education credit (whether the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) or the Lifetime Learning Credit) are qualified tuition and related expenses paid by the taxpayer during the taxable year. Qualified tuition and related expenses are tuition and fees required for the enrollment or attendance of the taxpayer, the taxpayer's spouse, or any dependent of the taxpayer at an eligible educational institution for courses of instruction.
For the AOTC provisions, student activity fees are included in qualified education expenses only if the fees must be paid to the institution as a condition of enrollment or attendance. Expenses for books, supplies, and equipment needed for a course of study are included in qualified education expenses whether or not the materials are purchased from the educational institution.
For the Lifetime Learning Credit, 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 for enrollment or attendance by an eligible student.
Qualified tuition and related expenses don't include the following types of expenses:
- Expenses related to any course of instruction or education involving sports, games or hobbies, or any noncredit course (unless the course or other education is part of the student's degree program or, in the case of the Lifetime Learning Credit, the student takes the course to acquire or improve job skills),
- Student activity fees (unless required for enrollment or attendance),
- Athletic fees (unless required for enrollment or attendance),
- Costs of room and board,
- Insurance premiums or medical expenses (including student health fees),
- Transportation expenses, and
- Other personal, living, or family expenses.
An eligible educational institution means a college, university, vocational school, or other postsecondary educational institution that's accredited and eligible to participate in the federal financial student aid programs administered by the Department of Education.
Note: You can't claim the AOTC on either an original or an amended return if either you or the student didn’t have a taxpayer identification number by the due date of your return (including extensions), even if you or the student later gets one of those numbers.
- Instructions for Form 8863, Education Credits (American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning Credits)
- Form 8863, Education Credits (American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning Credits)
- Education Credits--AOTC and LLC
- Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education
- Am I Eligible to Claim an Education Credit?
- Education Credits: Questions and Answers
Category: Childcare Credit, Other Credits
Subcategory: Education Credits