Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hope Credit - Post-Secondary Education Credit

The Hope credit is modified and renamed the American Opportunity tax credit for tax years beginning in 2009 and 2010. The credit equals the sum of:

• 100% of the first $2,000 of qualified tuition and related educational expenses, plus
• 25% of the qualified tuition and related educational expenses over $2,000 but not more than $4,000.

Take a minute and view this video from I.R.S.

The maximum credit a taxpayer may claim for 2009 or 2010 is $2,500 and is allowed for the first four years (used to be 2 years) of the student's post-secondary education in a degree or certificate program. (Doesn't have to be college, can be most Vocational Technical Schools or Cosmetology Schools.)

The definition of qualified tuition and related expenses is modified to include tuition, fees, and course materials. The credit is phased out for taxpayers with modified AGI between $80,000 and $90,000 ($160,000 and $180,000 for joint filers). Up to 40% of the credit is refundable (meaning after you use the credit to zero out your income tax, you get the rest of it back in your pocket). Effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2008, but only for tax years beginning in 2009 and 2010.

Whoever claims the student is allowed the credit.

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