Ask an Accountant: College Expense Deductions

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Although tax season is over, tax questions arise year round. Momondealz‘s husband is an experienced accountant and will be answering questions sent to me at cjwtaxpro@gmail.com with the subject line “Ask an Accountant”.
Question:
My son is heading to college this year and I was wondering what exactly I can claim on my taxes next year as deductions (i.e. textbooks and other school supplies?
Answer:
The following items are eligible for education credits/deduction:

  • Tuition Fees (student activity fees)
  • Course materials (including books, supplies & equipment)
  • Computer (if required as a condition of enrollment)
  • Sports equipment & expenses if they are part of a degree program

These amounts are reduced by scholarships, fellowships, grants, employer-provided assistance, or any other benefit.
Depending on the situation (i.e. what year of school the expenses are for combined with filing status and the Adjusted Gross Income of the taxpayer will determine if the items will be treated as a deduction or a credit, and to what extent the credit applies. At AGI above $60k single and $100K married filing jointly, the credit is entirely “phased out”.
*Please keep in mind this post is for informational purposes only and answers given are very general. Many things depend on individual circumstances. Please contact your personal accountant or financial advisor for your particular situation.

photo credit: austinpost.org
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About the author: I’m a 30-something mom to three, brand ambassador. content creator, social media maven, blogger extraordinaire, earth lover, butcher, baker, candlestick maker (or something along those lines) – love word games, crafting, cake decorating or shooting pictures.

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