Can I deduct money that I spent for my child to st...
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New Member

Can I deduct money that I spent for my child to study abroad that is not included in tuition?

 
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Expert Alumni

Can I deduct money that I spent for my child to study abroad that is not included in tuition?

Maybe. Several criteria must be met:

 

  • Was this part of an undergraduate course of study (e.g., college degree)? If not, you are not eligible for the American Opportunity Tax Credit or the Tuition and Fees Deduction.
  • If not, you may be eligible for the Lifetime Learning Credit. The Lifetime Learning Credit is 20% of the first $10,000 of qualified education expenses paid for all eligible students. Qualified education expenses are tuition, fees, and course materials required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution. Qualified education expenses must have been paid directly to the institution when claiming this credit. The maximum credit is $2,000 per return regardless of the number of eligible students. There is no limit on the number of years the credit can be claimed for each student.

 

You will need to make sure the college is considered an eligible educational institution. Per IRS.gov, an eligible educational institution is a school offering higher education beyond high school. It is any college, university, trade school, or other post secondary educational institution eligible to participate in a student aid program run by the U.S. Department of Education.

 

This includes most accredited public, nonprofit and privately-owned–for-profit postsecondary institutions.

 

If you aren’t sure if your school is an eligible educational institution:

 

• Ask your school if it is an eligible educational institution, or

• See if your school is on the U.S. Federal Student Aid Code List

 

TIP: A small number of schools not on this list may be eligible educational institutions. You may need to ask the school.

 

 

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Level 15

Can I deduct money that I spent for my child to study abroad that is not included in tuition?

It depends on what it is exactly, that you paid. The only qualified education expenses are tuition, books, and lab fees. While the category "lab fees" is rather broad, that's it with no exceptions.  So transportation and housing expenses are not deductible as a qualified expense.

However, if 529 funds were used then housing expenses are an unqualified but allowed expense, if the expense was paid "in direct support" of the education.

Transportation expenses for education are just never deductible.

 

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