To get a credit for education expenses, you have to pay tuition or related costs for yourself, your spouse, or a dependent on your return. If you paid tuition or other education expenses for someone who's claimed on another person's return, you won't qualify.
Here are other common reasons you might not qualify:
- You're filing your return as Married Filing Separately.
- Your adjusted gross income (AGI) is too high.
- American Opportunity Tax Credit AGI limit is $90,000 ($180,000 for joint returns).
- Lifetime Learning Credit AGI limit is $69,000 ($138,000 for joint returns).
- Your expenses were paid with tax-free scholarships, fellowships, grants, education savings account funds, tax-free savings bond interest, or employer-provided education assistance.