Going to school full/part-time can be challenging as it is, especially with tuition, books, and supplies going up. School can take a big chunk out of your pocket, whether you are using financial aid (FAFSA), scholarships, or funding your education out of pocket. You are entitled to get some of those expenses reimbursed. These expenses may include computers, books, or any expenses accrued during school.
Education Credit, also known as the American opportunity credit, the lifetime learning credit, and the hope credit; this credit is available for 2018 & 2019. In order for an individual to qualify for this credit, they have attended a college/university and receive a 1098-T BEFORE they file their tax returns.
Before going to a tax professional
Before you head over to your tax consultant, make sure you get copies of all the expenses you had during the taxable year. If you purchased a computer, camera, or paid for your school books, be sure to find those receipts, or you can always find them on your bank/credit card statements. Keeping these documents is essential in the event the IRS conducts an audit on your tax returns and requests your deduction. These documents will also help your tax preparer calculate the total amount of credit for your tax returns.
What if I already filed my taxes for 2018 & 2019? Can I still claim the credit?
If you already filed your taxes, it’s not too late to claim this credit! You can amend your taxes; this may take a few weeks to process; however, this credit may reduce your taxes or help you get some of the money back you already spent on school.