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New Member

Wrong info for AOTC

I just filed my taxes and it got accepted by the IRS. However, I noticed that the information I put for the AOTC portion is wrong. I have been in school for 7 years but have not obtained my bachelor’s degree yet. 2019 was also the only year out of seven years that I paid for tuition. I accidentally checked the box “no” to the question, “Has this person completed the first four years of post secondary school by 2019?” However since I have been in school for 6 years I did complete my first four years of college by 2019. I was wondering if I can still get any credits for AOTC since I did pay for some tuition out of pocket and how I should go about with amending my tax return?

2 Replies
Expert Alumni

Wrong info for AOTC

Here are the AOTC requirements:


The student must be the taxpayer, spouse, or a dependent claimed by the taxpayer. The student must meet all the following requirements to be eligible.

• The student has not already claimed the American Opportunity Credit in at least four prior tax years.

• The student had not completed the first four years of postsecondary undergraduate education before the tax year as determined by the educational institution.

• For at least one academic period beginning during the tax year, the student was enrolled at least half time in a program leading to a degree, certificate, or other recognized educational credential.

• The student had no federal or state felony conviction for possessing or distributing a controlled substance as of the end of the tax year.You state that you had completed over four years


If your school has determined that you have indeed completed the first four years of postsecondary education, then you cannot take this credit. However, it is possible that you will qualify for the Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC). There is no limit on the number of years you can use the LLC for undergraduate, graduate and professional degree courses, including ones to improve job skills. When you amend your return and answer the education questions correctly, TurboTax will automatically determine if you qualify to claim the LLC.


Here's how to amend your return:


You can amend returns that have been accepted by the IRS. If your return is pending, you won't be able to make any changes until it's accepted or rejected by the IRS. If you don't know your e-file status, we can help you check it

  • Sign in to TurboTax.
  • Scroll down to Your tax return & documents (you may need to select Show), select 2019 and then Amend (change) return. If you only see the option to amend 2018 or earlier, it's because you can't amend an unfiled 2019 return. Instead, just select Pick up where you left off, make your changes, and disregard the rest of these instructions.
  • Select Amend using TurboTax Online.
  • Carefully follow the instructions. Don't worry if your refund changes to $0. This is normal on amended returns.
  • When finished, we'll give you instructions for printing and mailing your amended return, as amendments can't be e-filed.

Three weeks after mailing your amended return, you can start tracking it at the IRS Where's My Amended Return? tracking tool.  Please allow at least 16 weeks for the IRS to process your amended return.


Processing times for amended state returns vary from state to state. If it's been more than 12 weeks since you mailed your amended state return, and you haven't heard anything, we suggest you contact your state tax agency.


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Level 15

Wrong info for AOTC

Ok ... you are fine ... nothing to amend. 


You get to use the AOC 4 times  on any year where you did not complete a 4 year degree as of  1/1/19 which you did not since you are taking much longer... you must have been below the 1/2 time threshold a couple of years.    The rules do not say you must use the credit the FIRST 4 years you are in school  however you do need to pay tuition out of pocket and be enrolled at least half-time in a program leading to a degree, certificate, or other recognized credential.

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