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wbayek
Returning Member

No education credit applied

I have been getting the education credit applied for the past 2 years. This year, Turbox Tax didn't give me a credit. We file marred filing jointly, our MAGI is below 160,000, and the expenses for tuition were 8796 with a 3500 scholarship. This has been the same for the past 2 years and I've gotten the credit in those years. Any idea why I'm not getting the credit applied this year?

2 Replies
RayW7
Expert Alumni

No education credit applied

It appears from the information yon you provided you would be available to receive the credit. Some things to double check.

Have you claimed the AOC for 4 years? 

If you are claiming the Lifetime Learning, check the income phase out.

 

Listed below are all the requirements for your review-

 

For the American Opportunity Credit:

Who can claim the credit?

You can claim the American Opportunity credit for qualified education expenses you pay for a dependent child as well as for expenses you pay for yourself or your spouse. If you have several students in your family, you can claim multiple credits based on the expenses of each student.

  • For example, if you have three kids in college, you can claim up to $7,500 ($2,500 x 3) in American Opportunity credits.

The credit is not allowed for a student who has completed the first four years of post-secondary education as of the beginning of the year. So, if your child completed less than four years of college as of January 1, 2020, you can claim the credit on your 2020 return.

  • You can only claim the credit for a year during which the student carries at least a half-time course load for a minimum of one semester beginning in that year.
  • Additionally, the student must be enrolled in a program that leads to an associates or bachelors degree or some other recognized credential.

The American Opportunity credit is phased out if your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) exceeds certain levels. (MAGI is adjusted gross income plus certain tax-free income from sources outside the United States.)

  • For 2020, the MAGI phase-out range for unmarried individuals is $80,000 to $90,000.
  • The MAGI phase-out range for married couples filing jointly is $160,000 to $180,000.
  • Regardless of your income, you are not eligible if you use married filing separate status.

For Lifetime Learning-

The Lifetime Learning tax credit can help cover undergraduate costs for a student who is not eligible for the American Opportunity credit because they're carrying a limited course load or already have four years of college credit. Additionally, the Lifetime Learning credit can also help cover the cost of graduate school and of courses taken to maintain or improve job skills.

You can claim the Lifetime Learning credit for qualified education expenses you pay for a dependent child as well as for yourself or your spouse.

  • The maximum amount of covered expenses is $10,000 no matter how many students you have.
  • This translates into a $2,000 maximum credit ($10,000 X 20%).

Qualified expenses include tuition and mandatory enrollment fees at an eligible institution. Books and course materials can also count, but only if you are required to purchase them directly from the school. Other expenses, such as optional fees and room and board, do not qualify.

Warning: You can’t claim both the American Opportunity credit and the Lifetime Learning credit for the same student for the same year. However, you can potentially claim the American Opportunity credit for one or more students and the Lifetime credit for up to $10,000 of qualified expenses for other students in your family.

Income phase-out rule

Like the American Opportunity credit, the Lifetime Learning credit is phased out if your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) exceeds certain (much lower) levels.

  • For 2020, the MAGI phase-out range for unmarried individuals is $59,000 to $69,000.
  • The MAGI phase-out range for married couples filing jointly is $118,000 to $138,000.
  • Regardless of your income, you are not eligible if you use married filing separate status.

"

Hal_Al
Level 15

No education credit applied

You've entered something wrong in the interview.  If you can't find it, delete and start over.

Delete student.   If you enter the wrong student, you'll have to delete all the info and start over. Go through the entire education interview until you reach a screen titled "Your Education Expenses Summary".  Click delete next to the student's name.  You'll then get the "Your Education Expenses Summary" screen again.  Click the "Add a student" button.

 

Of course, there's another possibility: you erroneously claimed it in the past.

https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/AOTC

 

Grad students aren't eligible for the AOTC

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