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What is the Tuition and Fees Deduction?

SOLVEDby TurboTax3540Updated December 28, 2021

The Tuition and Fees Deduction is no longer available beginning in tax year 2021. However, you might still be able to claim this deduction if you're amending or filing a tax return from 2018, 2019, or 2020.

The Tuition and Fees Deduction allows eligible taxpayers to deduct up to $4,000 in education expenses for themselves, their spouses, or their dependents. You don't need to itemize to get the deduction.

You're eligible for this deduction if you don't qualify for the American Opportunity Credit or the Lifetime Learning Credit, unless:

  • You’re filing as single or head of household and your AGI exceeds $80,000
  • You’re filing jointly and your combined AGI exceeds $160,000
  • You’re filing separately from your spouse
  • Someone else, such as a parent, is eligible to claim you as a dependent on their tax return (whether or not they actually do it)

You also need to have qualified expenses, which include tuition, course-related books, supplies or equipment, enrollment fees, lab fees, and other expenses required to enroll or attend an eligible educational institution.

Things you can't claim:

  • Room and board
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Student health fees
  • Insurance
  • Living expenses like food
  • Housing, or transportation
  • Fees for noncredit or "fun" courses not required to earn the degree

An eligible educational institution is any college, university, vocational school, or post-secondary educational institution eligible to participate in a student aid program administered by the US Department of Education (which is pretty much every accredited post-secondary educational institution).

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