Tuition & Fees Deduction

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Tuition & Fees Deduction

The Tuition & Fees Deduction allows you to take up to a $4,000 deduction on your Federal taxable income depending on what educational expenses you paid for yourself, your spouse or your children. Unlike the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) and the Lifetime Credit, this is a deduction or an adjustment to your income.

What expenses qualify for the Tuition & Fees Deduction? Qualified tuition and fees, only. Books, room & board, and other personal expenses are not allowed as a deduction.

What expenses do not qualify for the Tuition & Fees Deduction?

  • Room and board
  • Transportation
  • Insurance
  • Medical expenses
  • Similar personal, living, or family expenses.
Can I take the Tuition & Fees Deduction? If you meet the following criteria:
  • Your filing status is not married, filing separately
  • You are not listed as a dependent on someone else's (your parents, for instance) tax return
  • Your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is not more than $80,000 ($160,000 in the case of a joint return)
  • You (or your spouse) are not non-resident aliens for any part of 2011. For more info, see Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.
  • You did not claim the American Opportunity Credit or a Lifetime Learning Credit for the same student in 2011.

How much is my deduction? Those with an Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) of less than $65,000 ($130,000 if married filing jointly) can take up to the full $4,000. If your MAGI is more than $65,000, but less than $80,000 ($130,000 to $160,000 for married filing jointly), you can take up to $2,000. If your MAGI is more than $80,000 ($160,000 Married, filing jointly), you are not eligible to take any deduction.

How do I claim the Tuition & Fees Deduction? Claim the deduction by filling out Form 8917 and submitting it with your 1040 or 1040A. Enter the deduction on Form 1040 line 34 or Form 1040A line 19.

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