The American Opportunity Credit is available for tax year 2019,
which allows a maximum tax credit of $2,500 (100 percent of the first $2,000
and 25 percent of the next $2,000). The credit is available for the first
four years of post-secondary education, and 40 percent of the credit (up
to $1,000) is refundable to many taxpayers.
Eligibility is determined by income if filing as single, head of
household or qualifying widow. The maximum limit using Marginal Adjusted
Gross Income (MAGI) is $90,000. The limit of the tax credit before
the phase out starts is $80,000. The MAGI limit for married
taxpayers filing jointly is $180,000. The phase out of the tax credit
for married filing jointly taxpayers begins at $160,000.
For more information, view the following: Form 1098-T
Lifetime Learning Credit allows you to take a tax credit if
you do not qualify for the American Opportunity Credit. Adults
returning to college and students attending less than half time are eligible
for the tax credit. The tax credit allows for a maximum of 20 percent, $2,000
($10,000 x .20), of qualified expenses.
Eligibility is determined at the same income levels as the Hope
Scholarship. Single filers over $68,000 in income and joint filers over
$136,000 are ineligible. The Lifetime Learning credit is gradually phased
out if your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is between $59,000 to $68,000
for individuals and $118,000 to $136,000 for married filing joint. Taxpayers filing married separate are not
eligible for the Lifetime Learning tax credit.
Lifetime Learning Credit may not be claimed during the same year as the Hope
If you have more than one student eligible for the American
Opportunity Credit, you must claim the same credit for all eligible students.
You cannot claim both the American Opportunity Credit and the Lifetime Learning
Credit on the same tax return for one student. However, you can claim both the
American Opportunity Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit on the same return
but not for the same student.