Solved: I was told that I could not get a tax break for school but what about the cost of my laptop and the money I had to pay out of pocket?
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I was told that I could not get a tax break for school but what about the cost of my laptop and the money I had to pay out of pocket?

 
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Level 15

I was told that I could not get a tax break for school but what about the cost of my laptop and the money I had to pay out of pocket?

Whether you think it is a good thing or a bad thing, the tax code is not (yet) a giveaway to make up for every cost in life.

To take any college education tax benefits, you must not be claimed as a dependent by someone else.  If you are or still can be claimed as a dependent, those tax benefits or credits go to the person who can claim you as a dependent.  You also can't be filing as married filing separately, and in you generally must be a US citizen or green card holder.

Then, there are 3 different tax benefits for college education, the american opportunity credit, the lifetime learning credit, and the tuition and fees deduction.  A computer may be eligible for application toward these tax benefits if it is required (mandatory) for your education.  (For the lifetime learning credit, it also must be purchased directly from the school only.)  Personal costs of living, like room and board, medical expenses, and computers bought for personal convenience, are never eligible.

Turbotax will evaluate your situation and advise you if you are eligible for any of these benefits.

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*

View solution in original post

1 Reply
Level 15

I was told that I could not get a tax break for school but what about the cost of my laptop and the money I had to pay out of pocket?

Whether you think it is a good thing or a bad thing, the tax code is not (yet) a giveaway to make up for every cost in life.

To take any college education tax benefits, you must not be claimed as a dependent by someone else.  If you are or still can be claimed as a dependent, those tax benefits or credits go to the person who can claim you as a dependent.  You also can't be filing as married filing separately, and in you generally must be a US citizen or green card holder.

Then, there are 3 different tax benefits for college education, the american opportunity credit, the lifetime learning credit, and the tuition and fees deduction.  A computer may be eligible for application toward these tax benefits if it is required (mandatory) for your education.  (For the lifetime learning credit, it also must be purchased directly from the school only.)  Personal costs of living, like room and board, medical expenses, and computers bought for personal convenience, are never eligible.

Turbotax will evaluate your situation and advise you if you are eligible for any of these benefits.

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*

View solution in original post

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