New Member

Claiming son to get American Opportunity Credit

Hi, I have questions regarding American Opportunity Credit, College loans. Below is my information to support my questions.

-My wife and I filling status is married.
-Our son started his freshman year Aug 2017 at a 4 year university.
-he lived at home 8.5 months
-he made about $1,400 in 2017.
-my wife and I paid about $1,100 of his initial fees and books.
-my son got the government loan for about $6,500
-he also got a student loan for about $23,000
-both loans are cosigned by my wife.
-paid no interest or payments toward either loan in 2017.
-he received about $13,000 in merit discounts/scholarships from the University.
-All scholarships received was from the University.

1. Can we claim him on our taxes?
 a. he live at home for more than 8 months
 b. he only made $1,400.
 c. we paid for car and medical insurance, food, and a roof over his head.
 d. But for 3.5 months, he lived off his college loan for room, board, and tution. which is about $10,000 during 2017.
 e. I am hoping to claim the $1,100 for fees and books I provided on my taxes.


2. He received a 1099-T
 a. Since he is the primary on the loan, I assume the 1099-T info needs to be entered on his tax filing.
 b. But, since he made about $1,400, he is not able to take advantage of the $2,500 American opportunity Credit.


3. Is there a method to claim the $2,500 American Opportunity Credit on my wifes and I tax filling?


 Looking forward to response.

Employee Tax Expert

Get your taxes done using TurboTax

1. Yes you can claim your son. For full time students, the months away at college are treated as temporary absences by the IRS. In TurboTax, you will need to indicate that he lived with you all 12 months.


Qualifying child

  • They are related to you.
  • They aren't claimed as a dependent by someone else.
  • They are a U.S. citizen, resident alien, national, or a Canadian or Mexican resident.
  • They aren’t filing a joint return with their spouse.
  • They are under the age of 19 (or 24 for full-time students).
    • No age limit for permanently and totally disabled children.
  • They live with you for more than half the year (exceptions apply).
  • They didn't provide more than half of their own support for the year.

2. If your claiming your student on your return, the 1098-T for educational expenses and the credits that go along with it belong on your return. If he is required to file a return, he needs to indicate that someone else will claim him. You didn't indicate what kind of income the $1400 is. See Does my dependent need to file his own taxes? to determine if he needs to file his own return.


3. Enter the 1098-T form under the Education section of your return under Deductions & Credits. You will answer the qualifying questions and enter any other expenses you had for books, supplies etc. TurboTax will calculate the credit for you assuming you qualify. See Who is eligile to take the American Opportunity Tax Credit?

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New Member

Get your taxes done using TurboTax

I wonder if you can help me with this question: 


My son went to a college where he was given a grant. This did not cover the cost of tuition. On the 1098-T, it says in box 2: $26,990 and in box 5 $30,473. But in the explanation below the form, it shows of the amount in Box 5, $14,016 was for January 2017 (the prior school year) and $16,456 was for August 2017, the current school year. 

Turbo tax says we don't qualify for the AOTC because of the grants, but they were for 2 different school years. 

How can I fix this?