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Can I claim American Opportunity Credit with no income

I am trying to claim the AOC and TurboTax is telling me I'm not eligible for the credit although another tax software is allowing me to claim this credit without having income.

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New Member

Can I claim American Opportunity Credit with no income

If you are under the age of 24, please see the limitations noted below.  If all three of these apply to you, then you would not be eligible for the credit.

1. If you are age 18 or older, your earned income is less than one-half of your support.  If you are age 18, the same rule applies and if you are under age 18, you are disqualified regardless of support.

2. At least one of your parents was alive at the end of 2015.

3. You are not filing a joint return for 2015.

In your situation, you have no earned income; therefore, your earned income does not exceed one-half of your support which would meet the first limitation above.

If you are age 24 or older at the end of 2015, then you may qualify for a credit.  The American Opportunity Credit is first non-refundable which means it cannot create a refund and can only lower your tax liability.  If you have no income, your tax liability would be zero and you would not qualify for the non-refundable portion.  However, if your tax liability is reduced to zero, there is a refundable portion that could make you eligible for a credit that can create a refund of up to $1,000.  You can include education expenses up to $4,000.  If you have no income, then this amount of expenses would create the entire $1,000 refunded credit.

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