Solved: How do I force TurboTax to use the Lifetime Learning Credit instead of the American Opportunity Credit for my student?

If you are eligible to claim both credits, you should choose the one that provides the greatest tax savings for you. You can only claim it for up to four tax years (even if the student is in school longer), although they do not have to be consecutive, and only students still in their first four years of higher education are eligible. Another major tax credit offered by the federal government for expenses related to college education is the American Opportunity Tax Credit. This is similar to the LLC in that it allows you to claim a credit for educational expenses, reducing your tax liability. Although it is slightly more than the LLC and can be claimed for multiple dependent children, you can only claim it for undergraduate students and only for the first four years of study. The maximum annual credit is $2,000, calculated as 20% of the first $10,000 in qualifying educational expenses.

You can also refund up to 40% of the remaining amount of the AOTC if it reduces your tax liability to zero. Qualified expenses for the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit include tuition, fees and course materials required for enrollment in a course at an eligible college or university. The student may be taking the course as part of a degree program or to acquire or improve job skills.

  1. • The American Opportunity Tax Credit provides a credit of up to $2,500 per student enrolled in the first four years of higher education.
  2. For example, in Massachusetts you may be able to take a tax deduction based on tuition payments that you make to a qualified two- or four-year college or university.
  3. It can also handle the American Opportunity Credit and Lifetime Learning Credit, which are linked to an eligible person’s educational pursuits.
  4. Prior to joining Marketplace, his work appeared on Bankrate, The Points Guy and Fit Small Business.

This isn’t a blanket grant, it has both income and spending requirements, but it can make Treasury investments a tax-advantaged way to save for college. An education tax credit is a tax break that you can get based on educational spending. For every dollar in qualified spending, you can receive up to a dollar off your final tax bill. This is as opposed to a tax deduction, which reduces your taxable income, with the final reduction of your tax bill based on your tax bracket.

Tax Breaks for Parents and Their College Students

The American Opportunity Credit can save you up to $2,500 in tax for the education expenses of each eligible student. To qualify, the student must pursue a degree at a school that is eligible to participate in the federal student aid program. The credit is only available to students in their first four years of attendance, who enroll at least half time for one academic period during the tax year and do not possess a felony drug conviction.

Video: What Is the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit?

But there is no limit on the number of years of higher education for which you can claim it. What’s more, the new tax credit is available to more taxpayers than the Hope Credit. The full credit may be claimed by people with modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) of up to $80,000 for single taxpayers and $160,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly. Lower-income taxpayers also benefit because up to 40% of the credit (or $1,000) is refundable, meaning that you can expect a check from the government if you owe no taxes. The IRS defines this as money that you pay for tuition, fees, books, supplies, equipment and any other expenses required for enrollment or attendance. For the purposes of this tax credit, you do not have to pay these expenses directly to the institution so long as they constitute required spending.

Finally, your modified gross adjusted income must be no more than $80,000/$160,000 single/married filing jointly. You can receive a partial credit if your MAGI is up to $90,000/$180,000 single/married filing jointly, after which you cannot claim this credit. The Lifetime Learning Credit was enacted in the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 as one of five new education tax benefits.

Claiming the American Opportunity credit

You can get expert help through H&R Block, where you can file your taxes online for free with the confidence that you’re maximizing your return. You can claim the American Opportunity credit for qualified education expenses you pay for a dependent child as well as for expenses you pay for yourself or your spouse. If you have several students in your family, you can claim multiple credits based on the expenses of each student. Find out more about these tax credits and how you may benefit from them.

Who is eligible for H&R Block’s free edition?

Credit Karma, which is also owned by Intuit, has a free offer for people who did not use TurboTax last year and it can handle more tax complexity, the spokeswoman noted. Last week, the Federal Trade Commission ruled that TurboTax used deceptive advertising for years when it promoted its free services without clearly explaining that many taxpayers weren’t eligible for its free option. Rather, you can claim this credit for as many years as you’re eligible to do so, that is, while you or your child are enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree, or eligible professional or trade studies.

A federal and state return filed with H&R Block Online can be done for free, according to the company. The free return supports income from W2 wages, Social Security income, unemployment benefits and interest and dividends under turbotax lifetime learning credit $1,500. Normal retirement distributions pulled from accounts like a 401(k) may fit the free version, depending on a taxpayer’s circumstances. Live a straightforward financial life with few complications or income sources?

It’s hard enough trying to make ends meet when you’re a student. Luckily, you may qualify to claim a Lifetime Learning Tax Credit to save money on your taxes. The credit gives you a dollar-for-dollar discount on your income taxes up to $2,000 dollars and is equal to 20 percent of the cost you are required to pay directly to the school.

Only certain education expenses, such as tuition and required fees for enrollment, qualify for the Lifetime Learning Credit. Other college costs, such as room and board, transportation and medical expenses, aren’t eligible. For the purposes of the Lifetime Learning Credit, eligible educational institutions are schools offering higher education for high school graduates. Eligible institutions include colleges, universities and trade schools that participate in a student aid program run by the U.S. As I wrote earlier this month, the American Opportunity Tax Credit is one of the most generous education benefits available, and by the time you’re reading this, will likely have been extended for another two years.

To claim the credit, your Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) for 2023 must be below $90,000 if filing individually, or $180,000 if married filing jointly. This tax credit allows you to claim up to $2,500 per eligible student. The full credit is available for individuals with a MAGI (Modified Adjusted Gross Income) of $80,000 or less and $160,000 for married filing jointly. If your MAGI is over $80,000 but less than $90,000 (over $160,000 but less than $180,000 for married filing jointly), you will receive a reduced amount of the credit.

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