Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Deductions: The Facts about Tuition & Fees

**this notification is simply an attempt to convey IRS meaning into a language the common hillbilly can understand. I follow due diligence practices and will not be held responsible for a mis-interpretation of my posts. I adhere as closely and often more stringent than IRS tax codes. It is always advisable to verify tax advice, as it is always the taxpayer who is responsible for their tax returns. this blog is an effort to perform a free service to those who would pull their hair out as they listen to yet another song on 1-800-829-1040.

1) Many people (taxpayers) miss deductions because they have to take the Standard Deduction, and are not itemizing. They think, "since I can't itemize, I cannot count my Fees, or Tuition for last year", - Hold up! Yes, you can claim a tuition and fees deduction.

1). The way to take this deduction is to get Form 8917. If you are doing your own taxes, search Form 8917, 2008. Follow the Form 8917 Instructions. This will be included with your regular Form 1040 (The Blue One - Long Form) or Form 1040A. (The Pink One - Average Tax Payer Form - usually with Attachment(s) A and / or B). Some software will have this listed as Expenses, Expenditures, Tuition, Fees.

2). You may be qualified for a deduction on tuition and fees expenses. This might be an adjustment to income, a Hope or Lifetime Learning credit, or – sometimes – as a business expense.

3). Reason A. You are not eligible = MFS - Married Filing Separate

4). Reason B. You are not eligible = If you are a Dependent on someone else's taxes. If you do not claim yourself, or if you are not qualified to claim yourself on your tax return.

5). Reason C. You are not eligible = The evil AMT & your filing status has cut into your tax liablilty, it could reduce the amount you can deduct for medical expenses. [very good reason to contact your Rep or Senators] Write or call your representatives and repeal the AMT now.

6). Reason D. Limitations = You cannot claim the tuition and fees deduction if you or anyone else claims the Hope or Lifetime Learning credit for the same student in the same year.

7). Reason E. Limitations = If you can take the educational expenses & are also allowable as a business expense, or the Tuition and Fees deduction may be claimed in conjunction with a business expense deduction. Decide which one and stick with it. One entry for these expenses.

8). You cannot claim a deduction or credit based on expenses paid with tax-free scholarship, fellowship, grant, or education savings account funds such as a Coverdell education savings account, tax-free savings bond interest or employer-provided education assistance.

9). The same rule applies to expenses you pay with a tax-exempt distribution from a qualified tuition plan, except that you can deduct qualified expenses you pay only with that part of the distribution that is a return of your contribution to the plan.

10). IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education, can help eligible parents and students understand the special rules that apply and decide which tax break to claim. The publication is available at IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

Issue Number: TT-2009-52 - March 17, 2009 is where I got my info. :8 - >