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American Opportunity Tax Credit Math Wrong

While looking at my 1040 for this year, and my 1040-x for the last two years I’m amending to add my 1098–T to, it is adding the non-refundable amount of the credit back into my refund. For 2017, I put it in and got the max credit and should only being getting $1,000 back since that is the maximum refundable amount, but it’s saying that I’ll get back the full $2,500. Am I not understanding or is the math wrong in the software?

1 Reply
Expert Alumni

American Opportunity Tax Credit Math Wrong

For 2017 you have already paid those taxes.


  • So what happens here is that the non-refundable amount of the credit ($1,500) 
  • Frees up money that you have already paid in. (as long as you had a tax bill of at least $1,500)
  • This money gets refunded to you along with the $1,000 refundable credit.
  • Please note that if your original tax bill was only $600 you would now be getting that $600 plus the $1,000 refundable credit back.

Hope this clears it up a little.

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