Qualified Ed Expenses | Internal Revenue ServiceWhy Zacks? Learn to Be a Better Investor. Forgot Password. The Internal Revenue Service offers a number of tax benefits for higher education expenses, but college books often won't count as a qualified expense. However, certain tax credits and exclusions do allow you to reduce your tax burden as a result of money you spent on books needed for college.
Qualified Education Expenses
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Some education expenses are tax deductible or may allow you to claim a tax credit. Additionally, tuition and fees still count as qualified education expenses for the American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning credits. College is an expensive endeavor. Luckily, some educational expenses can be used to claim a tax credit or deduction. Know which expenses count and what documentation you need to keep to maximize your tax deductions and credits.
Although some school supplies won't be considered qualifying deductions, various tax credits are available to help you offset your educational expenses.
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Depending on the school and the coursework, school supplies may include textbooks, notebooks, pens or a laptop. At the college level, you have multiple ways to write off the cost and multiple rules for whether school supplies are deductible. At the K level, you're out of luck. Neither home schooling nor private school gets you any sort of tax break at the time of this publication. The American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning credits allow you to deduct qualified education expenses from your tax bill, rather than your taxable income. Lifetime Learning only allows you to deduct supplies if buying them from the university is a condition of enrollment.
Qualified education expenses are amounts paid for tuition, fees and other related expenses for an eligible student. You can claim an education credit for qualified education expenses paid by cash, check, credit or debit card or paid with money from a loan. If you pay the expenses with money from a loan, you take the credit for the year you pay the expenses, not the year you get the loan or the year you repay the loan. Qualified expenses are amounts paid for tuition, fees and other related expense for an eligible student that are required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution. Eligible expenses also include student activity fees you are required to pay to enroll or attend the school.