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Returning Member

Tuition deduction

I work as an accountant for this firm but when I started I didn't have a college degree. My firm required that I earn a B.S. degree in accounting, so I enrolled and obtained the degree. My employer didn't reimburse. I decided to sit for the CPA exam; for which I passed and now I'm a CPA at the firm.


Now I'm trying to figure out can if I deduct  the tuition on my taxes...from what I reading out of IRS162-5.a.1, I could have since my job required. But now that I have my CPA which wasn't a condition for my  retention at the firm, but a condition of my advancement, those educational expenses can't be deducted.


Is that correct...without my CPA I could have deduct, but with it I can't deduct?


Thanks any help would be great!

2 Replies
Level 13

Tuition deduction

Correct.  When you had education expenses to get your degree you were eligible for education credit.  The credit would have been claimed in the year you had the expenses and you can amend those returns to claim the credit. There is no credit for any expense related to your taking the CPA exam. 

Level 15

Tuition deduction

The rules changed starting in tax year 2018. Job expenses, for W-2 employees, including qualifying educational expenses, are no longer deductible.  However, most college courses are still eligible for a tuition credit (not a deduction) regardless of being job related or not.


Prior to 2108, the education you describe would have been deductible  as a job expense**. It was also eligible for the tuition credit. But you could not double dip (count the same expenses twice). Using an example: You paid $10,000 in tuition.  You may use $4000 to claim the maximum American Opportunity tuition credit  and the other $6000 as a job deduction.


**You were allowed to deduct your tuition and other job expenses, subtracting what you were reimbursed (do not subtract your reimbursement if it was included on your W-2 as taxable income). TurboTax completes form  2106, which  then carries to Misc itemized deductions on Schedule A. The problem with this is that you only get to deduct that portion of  your misc deductions that exceed 2% of your AGI. and then only if your total  itemized deductions exceed the standard deduction.  (2% rule explained: