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Returning Member

American Opportunity Credit

I went to college for 4 years without earning a degree and my parents claimed me all 4 years. I went to a community college later and received an associates degree. This last year, I went back to school to earn my bachelors. This will be the first year having gone to college and doing my own taxes. Am I able to claim the American Opportunity Credit since I’m filing on my

own and I’m just now earning my “4-year” degree? I’m so lost when it comes to this credit. 

6 Replies

American Opportunity Credit

If your parents got AOC when you were their dependent, and used it four times, there are no more bites of the AOC apple left.  You can use it four times total for your Social Security number.  Check with them to find out.  They might need to look at their past tax returns to see, if they do not remember.


Try using the Lifetime Learning Credit instead.










**Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to offer the most correct information possible. The poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the information that is contained in this post.**

American Opportunity Credit

What if a mistake was made and I claimed American opportunity credit when I shouldn’t have I forgot that I did a paper file in 2014 and if didn’t show up on turbo tax  when I looked to see how many years I had filed for it  what do I do ? Will the IRS change the American opportunity credit to the Lifetime Learning credit for me or do I need to wait to amend  thanks

American Opportunity Credit

Wait for now. The IRS will probably deny the American opportunity credit, and will probably not convert it to the lifetime learning credit for you.


But you can’t just file an amended return willy-nilly. If the IRS denies the American opportunity credit, they will change your tax return in their computer system and they will adjust your refund or send you a bill for tax owed. Then, in order to claim the lifetime learning credit, you would need to file an amended return, not based on your original return, but based on the IRS is adjusted return. That will be a little tricky. You need to wait for the IRS to pay yourRefund, and make any adjustments and send you any letters. Then you will know how to go forward.

Employee Tax Expert

American Opportunity Credit

Have you claimed it in four years prior to now? if so, then yes you will need to amend your return and change that answer to "yes" you have claimed it 4 years consecutive in your prior year's return. Then your credit will change to a lifetime Learning credit based on that answer. here are the instructions how to amend your 2019 return.


  1. ign in to TurboTax.
  2. Scroll down to Your tax return & documents (you may need to select Show), select 2019 and then Amend (change) return.
  3. Select Amend using TurboTax Online.
  4. Carefully follow the instructions. Don't worry if your refund changes to $0. This is normal on amended returns.
  5. When finished, we'll give you instructions for printing and mailing your amended return as amendments can't be e-filed.
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American Opportunity Credit

 I had never made a mistake with my taxes and when my WMR after 21 days said still processing I was trying to figure out why it was still processing considering it was a fairly simple return no EIC or Child tax credit and then I remembered but not sure if that the issue but only thing I could think of that’s if I am remembering correctly. Thanks for clarification hopefully I will get word soon on it. 

New Member

American Opportunity Credit


Hi there, wondering if you received your refund and if so, when? I am experiencing the same issue. 

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