As others have said, only the student or the person who claims the student as a dependent can claim any tax benefits, from paying for college.
Although the general rule, in taxes, is that you must be the one making the payment, to get the deduction, there is an exception for education. So, even though your uncle is paying for your college, you*, or your parents if you are their dependent, can still claim the tuition credit.
For more about the education gift tax exception (there are rules), see https://www.thebalance.com/what-gifts-are-not-subject-to-the-gift-tax-3505684
*You should be aware that there are restrictions on a student claiming himself and getting the refundable portion of the American Opportunity credit. A full time, unmarried, student, under age 24, is only eligible if he supports himself by working . It is usually best if the parent claims the credit rather than the student.
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