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How To File Your Own Taxes

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How To File Your Own Taxes

How to file your own taxes Publication 925 - Introductory Material Table of Contents Future Developments Reminders IntroductionOrdering forms and publications. How to file your own taxes Tax questions. How to file your own taxes Useful Items - You may want to see: Future Developments For the latest developments related to Publication 925, such as legislation enacted after it was published, go to www. How to file your own taxes irs. How to file your own taxes gov/pub925. How to file your own taxes Reminders At-risk amounts. How to file your own taxes  The following rules apply to amounts borrowed after May 3, 2004. How to file your own taxes You must file Form 6198, At-Risk Limitations, if you are engaged in an activity included in (6) under Activities Covered by the At-Risk Rules and you have borrowed certain amounts described in Certain borrowed amounts excluded under At-Risk Amounts in this publication. How to file your own taxes You may be considered at risk for certain amounts described in Certain borrowed amounts excluded under At-Risk Amounts secured by real property used in the activity of holding real property (other than mineral property) that, if nonrecourse, would be qualified nonrecourse financing. How to file your own taxes Photographs of missing children. How to file your own taxes  The Internal Revenue Service is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. How to file your own taxes Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. How to file your own taxes You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child. How to file your own taxes Introduction This publication discusses two sets of rules that may limit the amount of your deductible loss from a trade, business, rental, or other income-producing activity. How to file your own taxes The first part of the publication discusses the passive activity rules. How to file your own taxes The second part discusses the at-risk rules. How to file your own taxes However, when you figure your allowable losses from any activity, you must apply the at-risk rules before the passive activity rules. How to file your own taxes Comments and suggestions. How to file your own taxes   We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions. How to file your own taxes   You can write to us at the following address: Internal Revenue Service Tax Forms and Publications Division 1111 Constitution Ave. How to file your own taxes NW, IR-6526 Washington, DC 20224   We respond to many letters by telephone. How to file your own taxes Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence. How to file your own taxes   You can send your comments from www. How to file your own taxes irs. How to file your own taxes gov/formspubs/. How to file your own taxes Click on “More Information” and then on “Comment on Tax Forms and Publications. How to file your own taxes ”   Although we cannot respond individually to each comment received, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax products. How to file your own taxes Ordering forms and publications. How to file your own taxes   Visit www. How to file your own taxes irs. How to file your own taxes gov/formspubs/ to download forms and publications, call 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676), or write to the address below and receive a response within 10 days after your request is received. How to file your own taxes Internal Revenue Service 1201 N. How to file your own taxes Mitsubishi Motorway Bloomington, IL 61705-6613 Tax questions. How to file your own taxes   If you have a tax question, check the information available on IRS. How to file your own taxes gov or call 1-800-829-1040. How to file your own taxes We cannot answer tax questions sent to either of the above addresses. How to file your own taxes Useful Items - You may want to see: Publication 527 Residential Rental Property (Including Rental of Vacation Homes) 541 Partnerships Form (and Instructions) 4952 Investment Interest Expense Deduction 6198 At-Risk Limitations 8582 Passive Activity Loss Limitations 8582-CR Passive Activity Credit Limitations 8810 Corporate Passive Activity Loss and Credit Limitations 8949 Sales and Other Dispositions of Capital Assets See How To Get Tax Help near the end of this publication for information about getting these publications and forms. How to file your own taxes Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
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The How To File Your Own Taxes

How to file your own taxes 3. How to file your own taxes   Lifetime Learning Credit Table of Contents Introduction Can You Claim the CreditWho Can Claim the Credit Who Cannot Claim the Credit What Expenses QualifyQualified Education Expenses No Double Benefit Allowed Expenses That Do Not Qualify Who Is an Eligible Student Who Can Claim a Dependent's Expenses Figuring the CreditEffect of the Amount of Your Income on the Amount of Your Credit Claiming the Credit Introduction For 2013, there are two tax credits available to help you offset the costs of higher education by reducing the amount of your income tax. How to file your own taxes They are the American opportunity credit and the lifetime learning credit. How to file your own taxes This chapter discusses the lifetime learning credit. How to file your own taxes The American opportunity credit is discussed in chapter 2, The American Opportunity Credit . How to file your own taxes This chapter explains: Who can claim the lifetime learning credit, What expenses qualify for the credit, Who is an eligible student, Who can claim a dependent's expenses, How to figure the credit, How to claim the credit, and When the credit must be repaid. How to file your own taxes What is the tax benefit of the lifetime learning credit. How to file your own taxes   For the tax year, you may be able to claim a lifetime learning credit of up to $2,000 for qualified education expenses paid for all eligible students. How to file your own taxes There is no limit on the number of years the lifetime learning credit can be claimed for each student. How to file your own taxes   A tax credit reduces the amount of income tax you may have to pay. How to file your own taxes Unlike a deduction, which reduces the amount of income subject to tax, a credit directly reduces the tax itself. How to file your own taxes The lifetime learning credit is a nonrefundable credit. How to file your own taxes This means that it can reduce your tax to zero, but if the credit is more than your tax the excess will not be refunded to you. How to file your own taxes   Your allowable lifetime learning credit may be limited by the amount of your income and the amount of your tax. How to file your own taxes Can you claim more than one education credit this year. How to file your own taxes   For each student, you can elect for any year only one of the credits. How to file your own taxes For example, if you elect to take the lifetime learning credit for a child on your 2013 tax return, you cannot, for that same child, also claim the American opportunity credit for 2013. How to file your own taxes   If you are eligible to claim the lifetime learning credit and you are also eligible to claim the American opportunity credit for the same student in the same year, you can choose to claim either credit, but not both. How to file your own taxes   If you pay qualified education expenses for more than one student in the same year, you can choose to take certain credits on a per-student, per-year basis. How to file your own taxes This means that, for example, you can claim the American opportunity credit for one student and the lifetime learning credit for another student in the same year. How to file your own taxes Differences between the American opportunity and lifetime learning credits. How to file your own taxes   There are several differences between these two credits. How to file your own taxes For example, you can claim the American opportunity credit for the same student for no more than 4 tax years, but any year in which the Hope Scholarship Credit was claimed counts toward the 4 years. How to file your own taxes However, there is no limit on the number of years for which you can claim a lifetime learning credit based on the same student's expenses. How to file your own taxes The differences between these credits are shown in Appendix B, Highlights of Education Tax Benefits for Tax Year 2013 near the end of this publication. How to file your own taxes Overview of the lifetime learning credit. How to file your own taxes   See Table 3-1, Overview of the Lifetime Learning Credit for the basics of the lifetime learning credit. How to file your own taxes The details are discussed in this chapter. How to file your own taxes Can You Claim the Credit The following rules will help you determine if you are eligible to claim the lifetime learning credit on your tax return. How to file your own taxes Who Can Claim the Credit Generally, you can claim the lifetime learning credit if all three of the following requirements are met. How to file your own taxes You pay qualified education expenses of higher education. How to file your own taxes You pay the education expenses for an eligible student. How to file your own taxes The eligible student is either yourself, your spouse, or a dependent for whom you claim an exemption on your tax return. How to file your own taxes Table 3-1. How to file your own taxes Overview of the Lifetime Learning Credit Maximum credit Up to $2,000 credit per return Limit on modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) $127,000 if married filling jointly;  $63,000 if single, head of household, or qualifying widow(er) Refundable or nonrefundable Nonrefundable—credit limited to the amount of tax you must pay on your taxable income Number of years of postsecondary education Available for all years of postsecondary education and for courses to acquire or improve job skills Number of tax years credit available Available for an unlimited number of years Type of program required Student does not need to be pursuing a program leading to a degree or other recognized education credential Number of courses Available for one or more courses Felony drug conviction Felony drug convictions do not make the student ineligible Qualified expenses Tuition and fees required for enrollment or attendance (including amounts required to be paid to the institution for course-related books, supplies, and equipment) Payments for academic periods Payments made in 2013 for academic periods beginning in 2013 or beginning in the first 3 months of 2014 Note. How to file your own taxes Qualified education expenses paid by a dependent for whom you claim an exemption, or by a third party for that dependent, are considered paid by you. How to file your own taxes “Qualified education expenses” are defined later under Qualified Education Expenses . How to file your own taxes “Eligible students” are defined later under Who Is an Eligible Student . How to file your own taxes A dependent for whom you claim an exemption is defined later under Who Can Claim a Dependent's Expenses . How to file your own taxes You may find Figure 3-1, Can You Claim the Lifetime Learning Credit for 2013 , later, helpful in determining if you can claim a lifetime learning credit on your tax return. How to file your own taxes Who Cannot Claim the Credit You cannot claim the lifetime learning credit for 2013 if any of the following apply. How to file your own taxes Your filing status is married filing separately. How to file your own taxes You are listed as a dependent on another person's tax return (such as your parents'). How to file your own taxes See Who Can Claim a Dependent's Expenses , later. How to file your own taxes Your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is $63,000 or more ($127,000 or more in the case of a joint return). How to file your own taxes MAGI is explained later under Effect of the Amount of Your Income on the Amount of Your Credit . How to file your own taxes You (or your spouse) were a nonresident alien for any part of 2013 and the nonresident alien did not elect to be treated as a resident alien for tax purposes. How to file your own taxes More information on nonresident aliens can be found in Publication 519. How to file your own taxes You claim the American Opportunity Credit (see chapter 2) or a Tuition and Fees Deduction (see chapter 6) for the same student in 2013. How to file your own taxes What Expenses Qualify The lifetime learning credit is based on qualified education expenses you pay for yourself, your spouse, or a dependent for whom you claim an exemption on your tax return. How to file your own taxes Generally, the credit is allowed for qualified education expenses paid in 2013 for an academic period beginning in 2013 or in the first 3 months of 2014. How to file your own taxes For example, if you paid $1,500 in December 2013 for qualified tuition for the spring 2014 semester beginning in January 2014, you may be able to use that $1,500 in figuring your 2013 credit. How to file your own taxes Academic period. How to file your own taxes   An academic period includes a semester, trimester, quarter, or other period of study (such as a summer school session) as reasonably determined by an educational institution. How to file your own taxes In the case of an educational institution that uses credit hours or clock hours and does not have academic terms, each payment period can be treated as an academic period. How to file your own taxes Paid with borrowed funds. How to file your own taxes   You can claim a lifetime learning credit for qualified education expenses paid with the proceeds of a loan. How to file your own taxes You use the expenses to figure the lifetime learning credit for the year in which the expenses are paid, not the year in which the loan is repaid. How to file your own taxes Treat loan disbursements sent directly to the educational institution as paid on the date the institution credits the student's account. How to file your own taxes Student withdraws from class(es). How to file your own taxes   You can claim a lifetime learning credit for qualified education expenses not refunded when a student withdraws. How to file your own taxes Qualified Education Expenses For purposes of the lifetime learning credit, qualified education expenses are tuition and certain related expenses required for enrollment in a course at an eligible educational institution. How to file your own taxes The course must be either part of a postsecondary degree program or taken by the student to acquire or improve job skills. How to file your own taxes Eligible educational institution. How to file your own taxes   An eligible educational institution is any college, university, vocational school, or other postsecondary educational institution eligible to participate in a student aid program administered by the U. How to file your own taxes S. How to file your own taxes Department of Education. How to file your own taxes It includes virtually all accredited public, nonprofit, and proprietary (privately owned profit-making) postsecondary institutions. How to file your own taxes The educational institution should be able to tell you if it is an eligible educational institution. How to file your own taxes   Certain educational institutions located outside the United States also participate in the U. How to file your own taxes S. How to file your own taxes Department of Education's Federal Student Aid (FSA) programs. How to file your own taxes Related expenses. How to file your own taxes   Student-activity fees and expenses for course-related books, supplies, and equipment are included in qualified education expenses only if the fees and expenses must be paid to the institution for enrollment or attendance. How to file your own taxes Prepaid expenses. How to file your own taxes   Qualified education expenses paid in 2013 for an academic period that begins in the first three months of 2014 can be used in figuring an education credit for 2013 only. How to file your own taxes See Academic period , earlier. How to file your own taxes For example, you pay $2,000 in December 2013 for qualified tuition for the 2014 winter quarter that begins in January 2014, you can use that $2,000 in figuring an education credit for 2013 only (if you meet all the other requirements). How to file your own taxes You cannot use any amount you paid in 2012 or 2014 to figure the qualified education expenses you use to figure your 2013 education credit(s). How to file your own taxes In the following examples, assume that each student is an eligible student at an eligible educational institution. How to file your own taxes Example 1. How to file your own taxes   Jackson is a sophomore in University V's degree program in dentistry. How to file your own taxes This year, in addition to tuition, he is required to pay a fee to the university for the rental of the dental equipment he will use in this program. How to file your own taxes Because the equipment rental fee must be paid to University V for enrollment and attendance, Jackson's equipment rental fee is a qualified expense. How to file your own taxes Example 2. How to file your own taxes   Donna and Charles, both first-year students at College W, are required to have certain books and other reading materials to use in their mandatory first-year classes. How to file your own taxes The college has no policy about how students should obtain these materials, but any student who purchases them from College W's bookstore will receive a bill directly from the college. How to file your own taxes Charles bought his books from a friend, so what he paid for them is not a qualified education expense. How to file your own taxes Donna bought hers at College W's bookstore. How to file your own taxes Although Donna paid College W directly for her first-year books and materials, her payment is not a qualified expense because the books and materials are not required to be purchased from College W for enrollment or attendance at the institution. How to file your own taxes Example 3. How to file your own taxes   When Marci enrolled at College X for her freshman year, she had to pay a separate student activity fee in addition to her tuition. How to file your own taxes This activity fee is required of all students, and is used solely to fund on-campus organizations and activities run by students, such as the student newspaper and student government. How to file your own taxes No portion of the fee covers personal expenses. How to file your own taxes Although labeled as a student activity fee, the fee is required for Marci's enrollment and attendance at College X. How to file your own taxes Therefore, it is a qualified expense. How to file your own taxes No Double Benefit Allowed You cannot do any of the following: Deduct higher education expenses on your income tax return (as, for example, a business expense) and also claim a lifetime learning credit based on those same expenses. How to file your own taxes Claim a lifetime learning credit in the same year that you are claiming a tuition and fees deduction for the same student. How to file your own taxes Claim a lifetime learning credit and an American opportunity credit based on the same qualified education expenses. How to file your own taxes Claim a lifetime learning credit based on the same expenses used to figure the tax-free portion of a distribution from a Coverdell education savings account (ESA) or qualified tuition program (QTP). How to file your own taxes See Coordination With American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning Credits in chapter 7, Coverdell Education Savings Account, and Coordination With American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning Credits in chapter 8, Qualified Tuition Program. How to file your own taxes Claim a credit based on qualified education expenses paid with tax-free educational assistance, such as a scholarship, grant, or assistance provided by an employer. How to file your own taxes See Adjustments to Qualified Education Expenses, next. How to file your own taxes This image is too large to be displayed in the current screen. How to file your own taxes Please click the link to view the image. How to file your own taxes Figure 3-1 Adjustments to Qualified Education Expenses For each student, reduce the qualified education expenses paid by or on behalf of that student under the following rules. How to file your own taxes The result is the amount of adjusted qualified education expenses for each student. How to file your own taxes Tax-free educational assistance. How to file your own taxes   For tax-free educational assistance received in 2013, reduce the qualified educational expenses for each academic period by the amount of tax-free educational assistance allocable to that academic period. How to file your own taxes See Academic period , earlier. How to file your own taxes   Some tax-free educational assistance received after 2013 may be treated as a refund of qualified education expenses paid in 2013. How to file your own taxes This tax-free educational assistance is any tax-free educational assistance received by you or anyone else after 2013 for qualified education expenses paid on behalf of a student in 2013 (or attributable to enrollment at an eligible educational institution during 2013). How to file your own taxes   If this tax-free educational assistance is received after 2013 but before you file your 2013 income tax return, see Refunds received after 2013 but before your income tax return is filed , later. How to file your own taxes If this tax-free educational assistance is received after 2013 and after you file your 2013 income tax return, see Refunds received after 2013 and after your income tax return is filed , later. How to file your own taxes   Tax-free educational assistance includes: The tax-free part of scholarships and fellowships (see Tax-Free Scholarships and Fellowships in chapter 1, Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants, and Tuition Reductions), Pell grants (see Pell Grants and Other Title IV Need-Based Education Grants in chapter 1, Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants, and Tuition Reductions), Employer-provided educational assistance (see chapter 11, Employer-Provided Educational Assistance ), Veterans' educational assistance (see Veterans' Benefits in chapter 1, Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants, and Tuition Reductions), and Any other nontaxable (tax-free) payments (other than gifts or inheritances) received as educational assistance. How to file your own taxes Generally, any scholarship or fellowship is treated as tax free. How to file your own taxes However, a scholarship or fellowship is not treated as tax free to the extent the student includes it in gross income (if the student is required to file a tax return for the year the scholarship or fellowship is received) and either of the following is true. How to file your own taxes The scholarship or fellowship (or any part of it) must be applied (by its terms) to expenses (such as room and board) other than qualified education expenses as defined in Qualified education expenses in chapter 1, Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants, and Tuition Reductions. How to file your own taxes The scholarship or fellowship (or any part of it) may be applied (by its terms) to expenses (such as room and board) other than qualified education expenses as defined in Qualified education expenses in chapter 1, Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants, and Tuition Reductions. How to file your own taxes You may be able to increase the combined value of an education credit and certain educational assistance if the student includes some or all of the educational assistance in income in the year it is received. How to file your own taxes For examples, see Coordination with Pell grants and other scholarships, later. How to file your own taxes Refunds. How to file your own taxes   A refund of qualified education expenses may reduce adjusted qualified education expenses for the tax year or require repayment (recapture) of a credit claimed in an earlier year. How to file your own taxes Some tax-free educational assistance received after 2013 may be treated as a refund. How to file your own taxes See Tax-free educational assistance , earlier. How to file your own taxes Refunds received in 2013. How to file your own taxes   For each student, figure the adjusted qualified education expenses for 2013 by adding all the qualified education expenses for 2013 and subtracting any refunds of those expenses received from the eligible educational institution during 2013. How to file your own taxes Refunds received after 2013 but before your income tax return is filed. How to file your own taxes   If anyone receives a refund after 2013 of qualified education expenses paid on behalf of a student in 2013 and the refund is paid before you file an income tax return for 2013, the amount of qualified education expenses for 2013 is reduced by the amount of the refund. How to file your own taxes Refunds received after 2013 and after your income tax return is filed. How to file your own taxes   If anyone receives a refund after 2013 of qualified education expenses paid on behalf of a student in 2013 and the refund is paid after you file an income tax return for 2013, you may need to repay some or all of the credit. How to file your own taxes See Credit recapture, next. How to file your own taxes Credit recapture. How to file your own taxes    If any tax-free educational assistance for the qualified education expenses paid in 2013 or any refund of your qualified education expenses paid in 2013 is received after you file your 2013 income tax return, you must recapture (repay) any excess credit. How to file your own taxes You do this by refiguring the amount of your adjusted qualified education expenses for 2013 by reducing the expenses by the amount of the refund or tax-free educational assistance. How to file your own taxes You then refigure your education credit(s) for 2013 and figure the amount by which your 2013 tax liability would have increased if you had claimed the refigured credit(s). How to file your own taxes Include that amount as an additional tax for the year the refund or tax-free assistance was received. How to file your own taxes Example. How to file your own taxes   You pay $9,300 in tuition and fees in December 2013, and your child began college in January 2014. How to file your own taxes You filed your 2013 tax return on February 14, 2014, and claimed a lifetime learning credit of $1,860. How to file your own taxes You claimed no other tax credits. How to file your own taxes After you filed your return, your child withdrew from two courses and you received a refund of $2,900. How to file your own taxes You must refigure your 2013 lifetime learning credit using $6,400 of qualified education expenses instead of $9,300. How to file your own taxes The refigured credit is $1,280 and your tax liability increased by $580. How to file your own taxes See instructions for your 2014 income tax return to determine where to include this tax. How to file your own taxes If you pay qualified education expenses in 2014 for an academic period that begins in the first 3 months of 2014 and you receive tax-free educational assistance, or a refund, as described above, you may choose to reduce your qualified education expenses for 2014 instead of reducing your expenses for 2013. How to file your own taxes Amounts that do not reduce qualified education expenses. How to file your own taxes   Do not reduce qualified education expenses by amounts paid with funds the student receives as: Payment for services, such as wages, A loan, A gift, An inheritance, or A withdrawal from the student's personal savings. How to file your own taxes   Do not reduce the qualified education expenses by any scholarship or fellowship reported as income on the student's tax return in the following situations. How to file your own taxes The use of the money is restricted, by the terms of the scholarship or fellowship, to costs of attendance (such as room and board) other than qualified education expenses, as defined in Qualified education expenses in chapter 1, Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants, and Tuition Reductions. How to file your own taxes The use of the money is not restricted. How to file your own taxes For examples, see Adjustments to Qualified Education Expenses in chapter 2, American Opportunity Credit. How to file your own taxes Coordination with Pell grants and other scholarships. How to file your own taxes   In some cases, you may be able to reduce your tax liability by including scholarships in income. How to file your own taxes If you are claiming an education credit for a claimed dependent who received a scholarship, you may be able to reduce your tax liability if the student includes the scholarship in income. How to file your own taxes The scholarship must be one that may (by its terms) be applied to expenses (such as room and board) other than qualified education expenses. How to file your own taxes Example 1—No scholarship. How to file your own taxes Judy Green, who is unmarried, is taking courses at a public community college to be recertified to teach in public schools. How to file your own taxes Her AGI and her MAGI, for purposes of the credit, are $27,000. How to file your own taxes Judy takes the standard deduction of $5,950 and personal exemption of $3,800, reducing her AGI to taxable income of $17,250 and her tax before credits is $2,156. How to file your own taxes She claims no credits other than the lifetime learning credit. How to file your own taxes In July 2013 she paid $700 for the summer 2013 semester; in August 2013 she paid $1,900 for the fall 2013 semester; and in December 2013 she paid another $1,900 for the spring semester beginning in January 2014. How to file your own taxes Judy and the college meet all requirements for the lifetime learning tax credit. How to file your own taxes She can use all of the $4,500 tuition she paid in 2013 when figuring her 2013 lifetime learning credit. How to file your own taxes She claims a $900 lifetime learning credit and her tax after credits is $1,256. How to file your own taxes Example 2—Scholarship excluded from income. How to file your own taxes The facts are the same as in Example 1—No scholarship, except that Judy was awarded a $1,500 scholarship. How to file your own taxes Under the terms of her scholarship, it may be used to pay any educational expenses, including room and board. How to file your own taxes If Judy excludes the scholarship from income, she will be deemed (for purposes of computing her education credit) as having used the scholarship to pay for tuition, required fees, and course materials. How to file your own taxes Only $3,000 of the $4,500 tuition she paid in 2013 could be used when figuring her 2013 lifetime learning credit. How to file your own taxes Her lifetime learning credit would be reduced to $600 and her tax after credits would be $1,556. How to file your own taxes Example 3—Scholarship included in income. How to file your own taxes The facts are the same as in Example 2—Scholarship excluded from income. How to file your own taxes If, unlike Example 2, Judy includes the $1,500 scholarship in income, she will be deemed to have used the entire scholarship to pay for room and board. How to file your own taxes Judy's AGI will increase to $28,500, her taxable income would be $18,750, and her tax before credits would be $2,381. How to file your own taxes She would be able to use the $4,500 of adjusted qualified education expenses to figure her credit. How to file your own taxes Judy could claim a $900 lifetime learning credit and her tax after credits would be $1,481. How to file your own taxes Expenses That Do Not Qualify Qualified education expenses do not include amounts paid for: Insurance, Medical expenses (including student health fees), Room and board, Transportation, or Similar personal, living, or family expenses. How to file your own taxes This is true even if the amount must be paid to the institution as a condition of enrollment or attendance. How to file your own taxes Sports, games, hobbies, and noncredit courses. How to file your own taxes   Qualified education expenses generally do not include expenses that relate to any course of instruction or other education that involves sports, games or hobbies, or any noncredit course. How to file your own taxes However, if the course of instruction or other education is part of the student's degree program or is taken by the student to acquire or improve job skills, these expenses can qualify. How to file your own taxes Comprehensive or bundled fees. How to file your own taxes   Some eligible educational institutions combine all of their fees for an academic period into one amount. How to file your own taxes If you do not receive or do not have access to an allocation showing how much you paid for qualified education expenses and how much you paid for personal expenses, such as those listed above, contact the institution. How to file your own taxes The institution is required to make this allocation and provide you with the amount you paid (or were billed) for qualified education expenses on Form 1098-T. How to file your own taxes See Figuring the Credit , later, for more information about Form 1098-T. How to file your own taxes Who Is an Eligible Student For purposes of the lifetime learning credit, an eligible student is a student who is enrolled in one or more courses at an eligible educational institution (as defined under Qualified Education Expenses , earlier). How to file your own taxes Who Can Claim a Dependent's Expenses If there are qualified education expenses for your dependent during a tax year, either you or your dependent, but not both of you, can claim a lifetime learning credit for your dependent's expenses for that year. How to file your own taxes For you to claim a lifetime learning credit for your dependent's expenses, you must also claim an exemption for your dependent. How to file your own taxes You do this by listing your dependent's name and other required information on Form 1040 (or Form 1040A), line 6c. How to file your own taxes IF you. How to file your own taxes . How to file your own taxes . How to file your own taxes THEN only. How to file your own taxes . How to file your own taxes . How to file your own taxes claim an exemption on your tax return for a dependent who is an eligible student you can claim the lifetime learning credit based on that dependent's expenses. How to file your own taxes The dependent cannot claim the credit. How to file your own taxes do not claim an exemption on your tax return for a dependent who is an eligible student (even if entitled to the exemption) the dependent can claim the lifetime learning credit. How to file your own taxes You cannot claim the credit based on this dependent's expenses. How to file your own taxes Expenses paid by dependent. How to file your own taxes   If you claim an exemption on your tax return for an eligible student who is your dependent, treat any expenses paid (or deemed paid) by your dependent as if you had paid them. How to file your own taxes Include these expenses when figuring the amount of your lifetime learning credit. How to file your own taxes    Qualified education expenses paid directly to an eligible educational institution for your dependent under a court-approved divorce decree are treated as paid by your dependent. How to file your own taxes Expenses paid by you. How to file your own taxes   If you claim an exemption for a dependent who is an eligible student, only you can include any expenses you paid when figuring the amount of the lifetime learning credit. How to file your own taxes If neither you nor anyone else claims an exemption for the dependent, only the dependent can include any expenses you paid when figuring the lifetime learning credit. How to file your own taxes Expenses paid by others. How to file your own taxes   Someone other than you, your spouse, or your dependent (such as a relative or former spouse) may make a payment directly to an eligible educational institution to pay for an eligible student's qualified education expenses. How to file your own taxes In this case, the student is treated as receiving the payment from the other person and, in turn, paying the institution. How to file your own taxes If you claim an exemption on your tax return for the student, you are considered to have paid the expenses. How to file your own taxes Example. How to file your own taxes In 2013, Ms. How to file your own taxes Allen makes a payment directly to an eligible educational institution for her grandson Todd's qualified education expenses. How to file your own taxes For purposes of claiming a lifetime learning credit, Todd is treated as receiving the money from his grandmother and, in turn, paying his qualified education expenses himself. How to file your own taxes Unless an exemption for Todd is claimed on someone else's 2013 tax return, only Todd can use the payment to claim a lifetime learning credit. How to file your own taxes If anyone, such as Todd's parents, claims an exemption for Todd on his or her 2013 tax return, whoever claims the exemption may be able to use the expenses to claim a lifetime learning credit. How to file your own taxes If anyone else claims an exemption for Todd, Todd cannot claim a lifetime learning credit. How to file your own taxes Tuition reduction. How to file your own taxes   When an eligible educational institution provides a reduction in tuition to an employee of the institution (or spouse or dependent child of an employee), the amount of the reduction may or may not be taxable. How to file your own taxes If it is taxable, the employee is treated as receiving a payment of that amount and, in turn, paying it to the educational institution on behalf of the student. How to file your own taxes For more information on tuition reductions, see Qualified Tuition Reduction in chapter 1, Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants, and Tuition Reductions. How to file your own taxes Figuring the Credit The amount of the lifetime learning credit is 20% of the first $10,000 of qualified education expenses you paid for all eligible students. How to file your own taxes The maximum amount of lifetime learning credit you can claim for 2013 is $2,000 (20% × $10,000). How to file your own taxes However, that amount may be reduced based on your MAGI. How to file your own taxes See Effect of the Amount of Your Income on the Amount of Your Credit , later. How to file your own taxes Example. How to file your own taxes Bruce and Toni Harper are married and file a joint tax return. How to file your own taxes For 2013, their MAGI is $75,000. How to file your own taxes Toni is attending a local college (an eligible educational institution) to earn credits toward a degree in nursing. How to file your own taxes She already has a bachelor's degree in history and wants to become a nurse. How to file your own taxes In August 2013, Toni paid $5,000 of qualified education expenses for her fall 2013 semester. How to file your own taxes Bruce and Toni can claim a $1,000 (20% × $5,000) lifetime learning credit on their 2013 joint tax return. How to file your own taxes Form 1098-T. How to file your own taxes   To help you figure your lifetime learning credit, the student should receive Form 1098-T. How to file your own taxes Generally, an eligible educational institution (such as a college or university) must send Form 1098-T (or acceptable substitute) to each enrolled student by January 31, 2014. How to file your own taxes An institution may choose to report either payments received (box 1), or amounts billed (box 2), for qualified education expenses. How to file your own taxes However, the amounts in boxes 1 and 2 of Form 1098-T might be different from what you paid. How to file your own taxes When figuring the credit, use only the amounts you paid or are deemed to have paid in 2013 for qualified education expenses. How to file your own taxes   In addition, Form 1098-T should give other information for that institution, such as adjustments made for prior years, the amount of scholarships or grants, reimbursements or refunds, and whether the student was enrolled at least half-time or was a graduate student. How to file your own taxes    The eligible educational institution may ask for a completed Form W-9S, or similar statement to obtain the student's name, address, and taxpayer identification number. How to file your own taxes Effect of the Amount of Your Income on the Amount of Your Credit The amount of your lifetime learning credit is phased out (gradually reduced) if your MAGI is between $53,000 and $63,000 ($107,000 and $127,000 if you file a joint return). How to file your own taxes You cannot claim a lifetime learning credit if your MAGI is $63,000 or more ($127,000 or more if you file a joint return). How to file your own taxes Modified adjusted gross income (MAGI). How to file your own taxes   For most taxpayers, MAGI is adjusted gross income (AGI) as figured on their federal income tax return. How to file your own taxes MAGI when using Form 1040A. How to file your own taxes   If you file Form 1040A, your MAGI is the AGI on line 22 of that form. How to file your own taxes MAGI when using Form 1040. How to file your own taxes   If you file Form 1040, your MAGI is the AGI on line 38 of that form, modified by adding back any: Foreign earned income exclusion, Foreign housing exclusion, Foreign housing deduction, Exclusion of income by bona fide residents of American Samoa, and Exclusion of income by bona fide residents of Puerto Rico. How to file your own taxes You can use Worksheet 3-1 to figure your MAGI. How to file your own taxes Worksheet 3-1. How to file your own taxes MAGI for the Lifetime Learning Credit 1. How to file your own taxes Enter your adjusted gross income  (Form 1040, line 38)   1. How to file your own taxes   2. How to file your own taxes Enter your foreign earned income exclusion and/or housing exclusion (Form 2555, line 45, or Form 2555-EZ, line 18)   2. How to file your own taxes       3. How to file your own taxes Enter your foreign housing deduction (Form 2555, line 50)   3. How to file your own taxes       4. How to file your own taxes Enter the amount of income from Puerto Rico you are excluding   4. How to file your own taxes       5. How to file your own taxes Enter the amount of income from American Samoa you are excluding (Form 4563, line 15)   5. How to file your own taxes       6. How to file your own taxes Add the amounts on lines 2, 3, 4, and 5   6. How to file your own taxes   7. How to file your own taxes Add the amounts on lines 1 and 6. How to file your own taxes  This is your modified adjusted  gross income. How to file your own taxes Enter this amount  on Form 8863, line 14   7. How to file your own taxes   Phaseout. How to file your own taxes   If your MAGI is within the range of incomes where the credit must be reduced, you will figure your reduced credit using lines 10-18 of Form 8863. How to file your own taxes The same method is shown in the following example. How to file your own taxes Example. How to file your own taxes You are filing a joint return with a MAGI of $112,000. How to file your own taxes In 2013, you paid $6,600 of qualified education expenses. How to file your own taxes You figure the tentative lifetime learning credit (20% of the first $10,000 of qualified education expenses you paid for all eligible students). How to file your own taxes The result is a $1,320 (20% x $6,600) tentative credit. How to file your own taxes Because your MAGI is within the range of incomes where the credit must be reduced, you must multiply your tentative credit ($1,320) by a fraction. How to file your own taxes The numerator of the fraction is $127,000 (the upper limit for those filing a joint return) minus your MAGI. How to file your own taxes The denominator is $20,000, the range of incomes for the phaseout ($107,000 to $127,000). How to file your own taxes The result is the amount of your phased out (reduced) lifetime learning credit ($990). How to file your own taxes   $1,320 × $127,000 − $112,000  $20,000 = $990   Claiming the Credit You claim the lifetime learning credit by completing Form 8863 and submitting it with your Form 1040 or 1040A. How to file your own taxes Enter the credit on Form 1040, line 49, or Form 1040A, line 31. How to file your own taxes Note. How to file your own taxes In Appendix A, Illustrated Example of Education Credits at the end of this publication, there is an example illustrating the use of Form 8863 when both the American opportunity credit and the lifetime learning credit are claimed on the same tax return. How to file your own taxes Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications