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LaurenPhillips
Returning Member

American Opportunity Tax Credit

I have attended college on and off since the fall of 2013. Unfortunately it took me longer than expected to complete my undergraduate degree. 

I attended different schools and some credits transferred to my current university,  while others did not. 

Long story short during this whole saga I have only claimed the AOTC 2 times. 

Because I have just now completed my bachelors degree in the fall of 2019, am I able to claim the AOTC one final time? 

7 Replies
Critter
Level 15

American Opportunity Tax Credit

You are allowed to claim the credit on 4 tax returns until you get the 4 year decree ... they do not need to be on consecutive tax years. 

stevenwinn12
New Member

American Opportunity Tax Credit

Where did you get this information?

CatinaT1
Expert Alumni

American Opportunity Tax Credit

Yes, you can claim the American Opportunities Tax Credit.

 

To be eligible for AOTC, the student must:

  • Be pursuing a degree or other recognized education credential
  • Be enrolled at least half time for at least one academic period* beginning in the tax year
  • Not have finished the first four years of higher education at the beginning of the tax year
  • Not have claimed the AOTC or the former Hope credit for more than four tax years
  • Not have a felony drug conviction at the end of the tax year

*Academic Period can be semesters, trimesters, quarters or any other period of study such as a summer school session. The schools determine the academic periods. For schools that use clock or credit hours and do not have academic terms, the payment period may be treated as an academic period.

 

More information can be found here:

Education Credits

American Opportunities Credit

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stevenwinn12
New Member

American Opportunity Tax Credit

How could a person find out if it’s been more than 4 years of receiving the credit?

ColeenD3
Employee Tax Expert

American Opportunity Tax Credit

@stevenwinn12

 

You would need to go back and look at your prior tax returns. If you were a dependent at any time when this credit might have been claimed, you would need to look at your parents' returns as well.

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ddrumm33
Returning Member

American Opportunity Tax Credit

Hi Coleen,

 

I was told that since it’s being filed under a different persons tax returns the count starts over. So like even if my parents claimed me, I could claim myself when I start filing on my own and it would restart my count at 1 since it’s a new person filing. Is that not correct? 

Critter
Level 15

American Opportunity Tax Credit

That is NOT correct ... each person gets the credit 4 times no matter which tax return it was claimed on.  If you try to take it a 5th time the IRS will send you a nasty letter about it. 

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