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jrpolmanteer
New Member

Why would the amount owed to federal go up when I entered a deduction for the cost of college books, lab fees?

My son claims single. He attends college and checked the spot that he paid for books, materials, and lab costs from out of pocket. After entering this amount the amount owed to federal went way higher. Isn't this a deduction credit?
2 Replies
ReneeM7122
Level 9

Why would the amount owed to federal go up when I entered a deduction for the cost of college books, lab fees?

If your son can be claimed as your dependent, then unfortunately he isn't able to qualify for the Tuition and Fees Deduction.

 

 

The Tuition and Fees Deduction allows eligible taxpayers to deduct up to $4,000 in education expenses for themselves, their spouses, or their dependents. You don't need to itemize to get the deduction.

You're eligible for this deduction if you don't qualify for the American Opportunity Credit or the Lifetime Learning Credit, unless:

  • You’re filing as single or head of household and your AGI exceeds $80,000.
  • You’re filing jointly and your combined AGI exceeds $160,000.
  • You’re filing separately from your spouse.
  • Someone else, such as a parent, is eligible to claim you as a dependent on their tax return (whether or not they actually do it).

You also need to have qualified expenses, which include tuition, course-related books, supplies or equipment, enrollment fees, lab fees, and other expenses required to enroll or attend an eligible educational institution.

Things you can't claim:

  • Room and board
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Student health fees
  • Insurance
  • Living expenses like food
  • Housing, or transportation
  • Fees for noncredit or "fun" courses not required to earn the degree

An eligible educational institution is any college, university, vocational school, or post-secondary educational institution eligible to participate in a student aid program administered by the US Department of Education (which is pretty much every accredited post-secondary educational institution).

 

 

Hal_Al
Level 15

Why would the amount owed to federal go up when I entered a deduction for the cost of college books, lab fees?

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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