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Education Credits from Uncle Sam

By December 1, 2007January 30th, 20142007, Tax Tips

A good education is the best thing you can give yourself and your children. Uncle Sam recognizes the value of education and has given us credits and deductions to help.

Hope Scholarship Credit – this credit is allowed for tuition and related expenses for the first two years of post secondary education. Students must be attending classes at least half time pursuing a degree or recognized credential at an eligible educational institution. The credit may be claimed for more than one family member. A maximum credit of $1650 is allowed for tax year 2006.

Lifetime Learning Credit – this credit is allowed for up to 20 percent of the amount of the qualified tuition and related expenses, not to exceed $10,000. The maximum credit is $2000 and is allowed for undergraduate and graduate level courses as well as any course of instruction at an eligible institution to acquire or improve job skills. There is no requirement to be a half-time student, but the credit is calculated on a per family basis rather than per student.

Credits may be taken for the taxpayer, spouse, or a dependent. Dependents are not allowed to take the credit. The credits are not available for married filing separate returns or for nonresident aliens. Both credits have an income phase-out which is $45,000 to $55,000 for single and $90,000 to $110,000 for married joint returns.

Eligible expenses for both credits are tuition and fees, including tuition paid by loans in the year the tuition is paid, not when the loan is repaid. There is a prepayment rule that allows a credit for expenses paid in one tax year for an academic period that begins in the first 3 months of the following year.

For a deeper understanding of education tax credits, you may wish to contact a licensed tax practitioner, such as an enrolled agent.

Let Accounting & Tax Solutions, Inc. help you navigate through the many regulations and nuances of the tax laws, to ensure that you receive the expert advice of a licensed tax practitioner: Contact Form

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