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keol27
New Member

Are international students/non migrants eligible for the American Opportunity Credit?

 
3 Replies
HelenC12
Employee Tax Expert

Are international students/non migrants eligible for the American Opportunity Credit?

Yes, if you have a social security number and meet the other requirements, otherwise, no,

 

To see all the requirements, see the link and scroll down to Eligibility rules for the Recovery Rebate Credit

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keol27
New Member

Are international students/non migrants eligible for the American Opportunity Credit?

Thank you!
I have an SSN number, and I studied in the USA from 2018-2020, and did my undergraduate in England (where I'm from) from 2013-2016. Based on this, do you believe I qualify?

RayW7
Employee Tax Expert

Are international students/non migrants eligible for the American Opportunity Credit?

International Students

1098-T Tax Form

Most international students are not eligible to claim education tax credits with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. International students who may be eligible are:

  • permanent residents
  • married to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • those who may be claimed as a dependent by a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • those who have been in the U.S. long enough to file federal income tax returns as a resident

For more information about eligibility, see IRS Publication 970. USC cannot provide tax advice. For additional information, contact your tax adviser or the IRS.

 

Requirement for the AOTC-

 

To claim the American Opportunity Tax Credit, you’ll have to meet several requirements.

Enrollment –You must be enrolled for at least one academic period that begins in the tax year. You also must be:

  • Enrolled at least part time.
  • Enrolled in a post-secondary undergraduate program leading to one of these:
    • Degree
    • Certificate
    • Other recognized educational credential

The school decides what qualifies as full-time or half-time enrollment. Although the number can be higher or lower, most educational institutions see 12-credit hours in one semester as full-time status.

However, the standard for half-time workload cannot be lower than the standard established by the Department of Education.

Years of study – The student must not have completed the first four years of post-secondary education as of the beginning of the taxable year. This definition is also determined by the school.

Claiming the AOTC previously – You can only claim the American Opportunity Tax Credit four times.

 

There are a few situations which may exclude you from taking the credit. You can’t take the AOTC if any of the following apply:

  • Your filing status is married filing separately (MFS).
  • You are claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return (such as the taxpayer’s parents’ return).
  • You (or your spouse) was a nonresident alien for any part of the year and the nonresident alien did not elect to be treated as a resident alien for tax purposes.
  • You used the same expenses to claim a Tuition and Fees Deduction or a Lifetime Learning Credit.
  • You used the same expenses to treat a scholarship, grant, or employer-provided educational assistance as tax-free.
  • You received a refund of all of the expenses.
  • The eligible student did not have a SSN or ITIN on or before the due date for filing the tax return for the tax year.

If any of the above has disqualified you, don’t despair. The Lifetime Learning Credit is available to students who don’t meet American Opportunity Credit eligibility. This can include students who are enrolled for college credit less than half-time or have already completed four years of post-secondary education.

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