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Education Tax Credit 2009

Arlene Said:

I attended college in 2008, but paid part of the loans in '09. Can I take the education credit on tax return?

We Answered:

The only thing you get, the total amount of the paid interest which you will enter on line 33 of form 1040 will reduce your taxable income

Heather Said:

How does Box 5 on a 1098-T tuition statement work for new education tax credit in the stimulus bill?

We Answered:

You should add these things up for yourself. I know it's a pain in the butt, but you are correct that schools often fail to add the correct semesters. I added up my own last year for the tuition and fees deduction and it worked out just fine.

Many preparer sites also clearly state that the 1098-T is to be used as a "guide" and is not the final word.

Lance Said:

what forms or documentation i need to file for the American Opportunity Education tax credit?

We Answered:

If you received a 1098-T you should be able to get one of the education credits. If not the American Opportunity Education credit, then the Lifetime Learning credit.

Jerome Said:

Higher Education Tax Credit Question?

We Answered:

Doesn't work that way. You paid it in 2008, it's not eligible to be used in 2009 for tuition credits.

Lucy Said:

Education tax deductions for 2009?

We Answered:

TurboTax is easy and they also offer free Federal filing for basic tax returns. You can only choose ONE credit, and their program will suggest which route is best based on all your information. Tuition and school expenses could alternatively be used as a deduction (if you itemize deductions instead of taking the standard deduction, but TurboTax will again, let you know which of these options is best.) To take any of the three credits, you must be at least a half-time student, and be enrolled in a program that leads to a degree. You can factor in all tuition expenses - minus any scholarships, employer reimbursements, or fed and state grants you received. Any student loans you took out WILL count toward the credits since they are technically out of pocket expenses. Your school should be sending out a form called a 1098-T which will have this info calculated for you already.

Here is a breakdown of the requirements for each credit:

1.) American Opportunity: Formerly the Hope Credit, is a new 2010 credit that can be taken up to the fourth year of post-secondary education. This credit also allows you to add in expenses like books and school supplies... even something like a computer if it was required to complete your coursework.

2.) Lifetime Learning: Lesser credit for students past the fourth year of education. This credit can be taken infinitely if your income is not above a certain level.

3.) Hope: Only applicable to students who were attending school in a 'Midwestern Disaster Area'.

I have been doing my own taxes since I started working at fifteen. It is nice to get that look of 'awe' when someone asks where you have taxes done and you tell them you just take care of it yourself. Programs like TurboTax and TaxSlayer make this a relatively easy task, and do most of the real work for you. Not to mention that these programs are A LOT cheaper than professional services - and even free in many situations. You can always find out about new tax laws and changes at if it is something you are avidly interested in, but most online programs will go through the motions to get you the biggest refund.

Jerry Said:

Education credits for 2009 for a student who graduated their fifth year?

We Answered:

The American Opportunity Credit is an extension of the Hope Credit. The AOC can be taken four times, whereas the Hope Credit could only be taken two times.

If on 1/1/2009 you were classified as an undergraduate, and you had not completed four years of full-time undergraduate credits as defined by your institution, then you may qualify for the AOC. You also have to be attending at least half-time and not have a felony drug conviction.

The AOC is probably going to be more valuable to you than the Lifetime Learning Credit. If you do not qualify for the AOC because you were a less than half-time, you can still get the LLC.

Jeff Said:

2009 $2500 tax credit for full time student ...what is this how do i file?

We Answered:

International Students do not qualify as they are considered non-residents for tax purposes.

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