Whether you’re 18 or 81, you may qualify for the Lifetime Learning Credit if you’re an eligible student enrolled in an eligible higher education institution. Read on to find out more!
What Is the Lifetime Learning Credit?
The Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC) is a tax credit you can claim to offset the cost of tuition or other educational expenses related to “higher education” (i.e. education beyond high school). As with other tax credits, the LLC works by reducing the amount of tax you owe.
How Much Is It Worth?
The amount you can claim with the LLC will depend on what you spend during the year to pay for higher education tuition and related expenses. The LLC lets you claim 20% of the first $10,000 of your educational expenses. If you spend $10,000 or more, that means you could claim up to $2,000 as a tax credit.
Who Can Claim It?
In order to claim the LLC, the student in question must:
- Be enrolled in an eligible educational institution
- Be working towards a degree or other recognized education credential, or taking courses to improve job skills
- Be enrolled in at least one academic period that begins in the same tax year the credit is claimed
For a school to be “eligible,” the college, university, trade school, or other institution you attend must be cleared to participate in the student aid program administered by the U.S. Department of Education. Most accredited post-secondary institutions are eligible, but you should always double check before claiming the LLC.
A taxpayer can claim the LLC for him or herself, their spouse, or their dependent(s). There’s no limit to the number of years you can claim the LLC.
What Do I Do Next?
If you think you may qualify to claim the Lifetime Learning Credit, the best thing to do is to keep track of your education costs and consult with a tax professional. It’s important to make sure that you meet all of the eligibility requirements before you claim this credit, as ineligible claimants may face stiff penalties.
The tax experts at Taxation Solutions, Inc. in Cincinnati are on hand to help you assess your eligibility and offer guidance so you can make informed decisions about claiming the Lifetime Learning Credit. If you think you qualify to claim this valuable tax credit, give our team a call today!