Tax Benefits For Students

Tax benefits change year to year but there are always some deductions for students and their parents. We are not income tax experts, please check with your tax professional before filing. This article is intended as a guideline only.

Some examples of tax benefits available for the 2006 tax year

Hope Scholarship This is actually a tax credit, not a scholarship. The credit is subtracted from the amount of tax you actually owe, not your income. You cannot get a refund of this credit, it can only be deducted from the amount you owe. The amount of the credit depends on several factors such as income, cost of tuition and fees, and the amount of certain scholarships received. To receive this credit you need a form 1098-T from the school which is used to fill out IRS form 8863. Your 1098-T form should include contact information for someone at your school who can help you with questions or filling out the form. You can only claim this credit for two years of schooling.

Lifetime Learning Tax Credit This is also a credit, deducted from the amount of taxes you owe as opposed to a refund. The credit is run pretty much the same as the Hope Scholarship, it uses the same 1098-T and IRS form 8863. The only difference is it is not limited to 2 years.

The Tuition and Fees Tax Deduction This is an income deduction that you can use even if you do not itemize. You may deduct up to $4000.00 of tuition and fees, no other expenses are eligible. These must be fees you actually paid, no tuition or fees paid by tax-free scholarships, grants or any other assistance are eligible. There was a last minute extension by congress to allow this deduction this year so it is not properly printed on the tax forms. People claiming this deduction are encouraged to e-file because it has been added to the IRS software, otherwise you must follow special instructions to make sure the form is filled out properly. You will need a form 1098-T from your school and a 1040 tax form.

Interest deduction You can deduct up to $2500.00 of interest paid on student loans, provided it is not deducted somewhere else on your return.

Remember these benefits and amounts change year to year so make sure you have current information when filing your taxes!

By: Matthew Kelly

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