Last Updated : January 14, 2009
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Form 8917

Tution and Fees Deduction

Use Form 8917 to figure and take deduction for tution and fees expenses paid in 2007.
This deduction is based on Qualified Education Expenses paid to an eligible post secondary educational institution.
THe taxpayer may be able to take the HOPE Credit or Lifetime Learning credit for his education expenses instead of the tution and fees deduction. The taxpayer needs to figure his tax both ways and choose the one that gives him the lower tax.

The taxpayer may be able to take the deduction if :

  • The taxpayer, his spouse or a dependent claimed by him on his tax return was a student enrolled at or attending an eligible educational institution.
  • The deduction is based on the amount of Qualified education expenses he paid for the student in 2007 for academic periods beginning in 2007 and the first 3 months of 2008.

The taxpayer may not be able to take the deduction if any of the following apply:

  • Filing status of the taxpayer is Married Filing Seperately.
  • The taxpayer can be claimed as a dependent by another person on his or her tax return.
  • Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) as figured on line 5, is more than $80000 or $160000 if filing a joint return.
  • If the taxpayer was a non resident alien for any part of the year and did not elect to be treated as a resident alien for tax purposes. Refer publication 519.
  • The taxpayer or anyone else claims a Hope or lifetime learning credit (FORM 8863) in 2007 with respect to expenses of the student for whom the Qualified education expenses were paid.

Generally, qualified education expenses are amounts paid in 2007 for tution and fees required for the student's enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution. It doesnot matter whether the expenses were paid in cash , by check , by credit card, or with borrowed funds.
It doesnot include amounts paid for:

  • Room and board, insurance, medical expenses, transportation, or other similar personal, living, or family expenses.
  • Course-related books, supplies, equipment, and nonacademic activities, except for fees required to be paid to the institution as a condition of enrolment or attendance.
  • Any course or other education involving sports, games, or hobbies, or any non credit course , unless such course or other education is part of the student's degree program.

An eligible student is a student who was enrolled in one or more courses at an eligible educational institution. The student must have either a high school diploma or a Generla Educational Development (GED) credential.

Line 1:
Enter on this line for each student who qualifies for and for whom the taxpayer elects to take the tution and fees deduction.
Enter the details of each student including his first name , last name and SSN and amount spent or paid as Qualified expenses for each one seperately.

Line 2:
The program adds the expenses paid for each student entered on line 1and sets theresult on this line.

Line 3:
The amount on this line comes from FORM 1040 line 22 (total income) OR FORM 1040A line 15 (total income).

Line 4:
The amount on this line comes from FORM 1040 line 36 excluding line 34 (tution fees deduction) and line 35 (domestic production activities deduction) OR
FORM 1040A line 20 excluding line 19 (tution fees deduction).

Line 5:
The program subtracts line 4 from line 3 and enters the result on this line.
If the result is greater than $80000 or $160000 if married filing jointly then the taxpayer cannot take the credit.

Line 6:
The program by itself checks the appropiate checkboxes based on the limits set as given in the description and sets the result on this line.
The result is also reported on FORM 1040 line 34 or FORM 1040A line 19 as appropiate.

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