Top Ten facts about the Tuition and Fees Deduction
March 17, 2009 – TT-2009-52
The Tuition and Fees deduction of up to $4,000 is available to help parents and students pay for post-secondary education. Below are ten important facts about this deduction every student and parent should know.
- You do not have to itemize to take the Tuition and Fees deduction. You claim a tuition and fees deduction by completing Form 8917 and submitting it with your Form 1040 or Form 1040A.
- You may be able to claim qualified tuition and fees expenses as either an adjustment to income, a Hope or Lifetime Learning credit, or – if applicable – as a business expense.
- You cannot take the tuition and fees deduction on your income tax return if your filing status is married filing separately.
- You cannot take the deduction if you are claimed, or can be claimed, as a dependent on someone else's return.
- The deduction is reduced or eliminated if your modified adjusted gross income exceeds certain limits, based on your filing status.
- You cannot claim the tuition and fees deduction if you or anyone else claims the Hope or Lifetime Learning credit for the same student in the same year.
- If the educational expenses are also allowable as a business expense, the tuition and fees deduction may be claimed in conjunction with a business expense deduction, but the same expenses cannot be deducted twice.
- You cannot claim a deduction or credit based on expenses paid with tax-free scholarship, fellowship, grant, or education savings account funds such as a Coverdell education savings account, tax-free savings bond interest or employer-provided education assistance.
- The same rule applies to expenses you pay with a tax-exempt distribution from a qualified tuition plan, except that you can deduct qualified expenses you pay only with that part of the distribution that is a return of your contribution to the plan.
- IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education, can help eligible parents and students understand the special rules that apply and decide which tax break to claim. The publication is available at IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).