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rfox802
New Member

I've been attending a community college since 2013 and only just graduated with an associates degree last year. Do I still qualify for the American Opportunity Credit?

I know people have asked this question before but I just wanted more clarity to be sure. I just finished my first associates degree last year and I'm now pursing my bachelors degree. I've been attending school since 2013 part time and I've taken the American Opportunity tax credit 3 times now. From what I have seen it seems like I'll still be eligible for the American Opportunity Credit one more time since I haven't completed a 4 year degree (or 2 associates, etc). Is this correct?

5 Replies
DanielV01
Expert Alumni

I've been attending a community college since 2013 and only just graduated with an associates degree last year. Do I still qualify for the American Opportunity Credit?

It depends.  You are correct that the American Opportunity Credit may be claimed a maximum of 4 times.  Whether or not you qualify will likely depend on if you are considered a full-time student for tax purposes.  The definition for a full-time student is that you were at least a half-time student for at least 5 months.  (If you were a half-time student, the "half-time student" box will be checked).  There are other requirements as well, as shown in this FAQ:  https://ttlc.intuit.com/replies/5358150

But, if you have yet to have claimed 4 years for the credit, and meet the remaining requirements in the FAQ above, you would be eligible to claim the credit.  However, if you don't qualify for the American Opportunity Credit, you may still qualify for the Lifetime Learning Credit.  Here is an FAQ with more information on this subject as well:  https://ttlc.intuit.com/replies/5358151

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rfox802
New Member

I've been attending a community college since 2013 and only just graduated with an associates degree last year. Do I still qualify for the American Opportunity Credit?

For 2013, 2014, and 2015 I was considered at least half time on my tax form but in 2016 I only took 1 class per semester so I was not full time. This year I am considered half time. I meet all the other qualifications in terms of higher education expenses, and gross income. So since I had the one year in between when I started and now where I wasn't full time, is it safe to assume I can claim it this year?
DanielV01
Expert Alumni

I've been attending a community college since 2013 and only just graduated with an associates degree last year. Do I still qualify for the American Opportunity Credit?

The gap does not disqualify you.
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dmgallardo29
Level 2

I've been attending a community college since 2013 and only just graduated with an associates degree last year. Do I still qualify for the American Opportunity Credit?

I have a similar situation. I went to community college for 6 years, and I just got my bachelors in spring of 2020. The thing is  I never claimed the AOTC in all these years, and just heard about this credit right now. I assume that I am unable to claim AOTC despite never have claimed it before?

Hal_Al
Level 15

I've been attending a community college since 2013 and only just graduated with an associates degree last year. Do I still qualify for the American Opportunity Credit?

@dmgallardo29 

You are eligible to claim the AOTC for 2020, if you were half time or more for at least one term.   That assumes that neither you, nor your parents, had already claimed the AOTC (or predecessor "Hope Credit") 4 times in the past.

 

If it was not claimed in the past, you may still be able to amend 2018 and 2019 tax returns   to claim it now. It is too late to amend 2017.  

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