home > educational tax benefits
If you, your spouse, or your children or dependents attended college last year, the money you spent on tuition, fees, and in some cases even books and course material, can count towards one of two educational tax credits or deductions.
When looking for tax savings in either education-related credits or deductions, there are a few rules that apply across the board that you should be aware of:
• You may not claim either of the tax credits or deductions if your tax filing status is married but filing separately.
• Of the two tax credits, the American Opportunity Tax Credit (or AOTC) is by far the most advantageous one, if you qualify.
• There is no "doubling of benefits" allowed, meaning that you may not claim more than one credit or the tuition tax deduction for the same student in the same tax year.
• As with all tax credits and many deductions, limits on income apply.
• The two educational tax deductions are actually income adjustments which means that you don't have to itemize and can still take the standard deduction.
• The H&R Block e-filing interview is the easiest and quickest way to figure out if you qualify for any educational tax savings. Best of all, it's free to use until you file.
You can get more information federal tax benefits for education directly from the IRS, in the form of IRS Publication 970 (it's lots of fun.)