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What are qualified education expenses for the American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning credits?

These expenses qualify, as long as they are required to enroll in or attend a qualified educational institution:

  • Tuition, if paid to the institution
  • Student-activity fees, if paid to the institution
  • Books, supplies, and equipment, if required to be purchased from the institution as a condition of enrollment or attendance (Lifetime Learning Credit)
  • Books, supplies, and equipment, regardless of where purchased (American Opportunity Credit)

Fees paid for non-credit courses and sports (or similar activities) don't qualify unless:

  • The course or activity is included in the student’s degree program, or
  • The course helps the student acquire or improve job skills (Lifetime Learning Credit only)

These expenses are not considered qualified education expenses for either credit:

  • Tutoring
  • Housing, room and board
  • Insurance, including student health fees
  • Medical or dental expenses
  • Transportation
  • Entertainment, babysitting, and other personal expenses

Qualified education expenses paid on behalf of the student by someone other than the student (such as a relative), are treated as paid by the student. Qualified education expenses paid (or treated as paid) by a student who is claimed as a dependent on your tax return, are treated as paid by you.

 

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