Solved: Can I claim the American Opportunity Credit if I've been in community college for 5 years part-time and haven't completed my degree?
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New Member

Can I claim the American Opportunity Credit if I've been in community college for 5 years part-time and haven't completed my degree?

The credit says I can claim it if I havent completed 4 years of school but since I've been part time I haven't completed 4 years worth of credit hours.
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Level 15

Can I claim the American Opportunity Credit if I've been in community college for 5 years part-time and haven't completed my degree?

Most likely. But check out IRS Pub 970 to make sure you meet all the qualifications. It's on page 10, and you need to pay attention to the paragraph that begins "Student Qualifications". https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p970.pdf

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4 Replies
Level 15

Can I claim the American Opportunity Credit if I've been in community college for 5 years part-time and haven't completed my degree?

You or someone who claims you as a dependent can only claim the AOC a maximum of 4 tax years regardless of how many calendar years it takes you to get the undergraduate degree. If you or someone who claims you has already claimed it in 4 tax years, you can't claim it a 5th year.
New Member

Can I claim the American Opportunity Credit if I've been in community college for 5 years part-time and haven't completed my degree?

I have only claimed it one year (last year) and according to the PDF it says " first 4 years of postsecondary education (generally, the freshman through senior years of college), as determined by the eligible educational institution." Does this mean I need to ask my school what they define as 4 years?
Level 15

Can I claim the American Opportunity Credit if I've been in community college for 5 years part-time and haven't completed my degree?

Four academic years often take more than 4 calendar years. Generally you graduate when you finish your senior year even if it takes more than 4 calendar years. If you haven't finished your senior year, then you would still be eligible for the AOC if you meet the other qualifications.
Level 15

Can I claim the American Opportunity Credit if I've been in community college for 5 years part-time and haven't completed my degree?

Most likely. But check out IRS Pub 970 to make sure you meet all the qualifications. It's on page 10, and you need to pay attention to the paragraph that begins "Student Qualifications". https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p970.pdf

View solution in original post

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