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How do I claim the American opportunity credit?

2 Replies
Expert Alumni

How do I claim the American opportunity credit?

If have paid qualified education expenses including a tuition amount, you should have received a Form 1098-T.  To claim the credit, here are the steps:


In TurboTax online,

  • Sign in to your account, select Pick up where you left off
  • At the right upper corner, in the search box, type in "1098t" and Enter
  • Select Jump to 1098t
  • Follow prompts

The American opportunity tax credit AOTC allows taxpaying students or their parents the opportunity to reduce the cost of attending college. The credit typically offers greater tax savings than other education related tax benefits.  It is because it reduces the tax you owe on a dollar-for-dollar basis rather than just reducing the amount of income subject to tax. However, there are several requirements for eligibility.  For more information, click here: AOTC

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Level 15

How do I claim the American opportunity credit?

There's a new urban myth among college students that says they can get a $1000 from the government just for filing a tax form. For most of them, they simply aren't eligible. A full time unmarried student, under age 24, even if you don't qualify as a dependent, is only eligible for the refundable portion of the American Opportunity Credit if he supports himself by working. You cannot be supporting yourself on parental support, 529 plans or student loans & grants. You usually must have actually paid tuition, not had it paid by scholarships & grants.  It is usually best if the parent claims that credit. 

You cannot claim a credit if you are, or can be, claimed as a dependent by someone else.

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