Susan E. Thomas CPA
Newsletter
Comparison of Education Tax Credits and Deductions

  American Opportunity credit Lifetime Learning credit Student loan interest deduction Tuition and fees deduction
Credit/deduction applies to Qualified tuition and related expenses for first four years of undergraduate education Qualified tuition and related expenses for courses taken throughout lifetime to improve or acquire job skills Interest paid on a qualified student loan Qualified higher education expenses paid during the year

Not available in 2018
Qualified education expenses include room and board? No No Yes N/A
Maximum credit/deduction $2,500
$2,000
$2,500
N/A
Income limits in 2018

Single filers: full credit available if modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) $80,000 or less

Partial credit available if MAGI between $80,000 and $90,000

Joint filers: full credit available if MAGI $160,000 or less

Partial credit available if MAGI between $160,000 and $180,000

Single filers: full credit available if modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) $57,000 or less

Partial credit available if MAGI between $57,000 and $67,000

Joint filers: full credit available if MAGI $114,000 or less

Partial credit available if MAGI between $114,000 and $134,000

Single filers: full deduction available if modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) $65,000 or less

Partial deduction available if MAGI between $65,000 and $80,000

Joint filers: full deduction available if MAGI $135,000 or less

Partial deduction available if MAGI between $135,000 and $165,000

* Available in 2017, not 2018

Single filers: $4,000 (full) deduction available if modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) $65,000 or less

$2,000 (partial) deduction available if MAGI between $65,000 and $85,000

Joint filers: $4,000 (full) deduction available if MAGI $130,000 or less

$2,000 (partial) deduction available if MAGI between $130,000 and $160,000

Less than half-time students or graduate students eligible? No Yes Less than half-time--no; graduate students--yes N/A
Limit on number of students in family for whom credit/deduction can be taken in same year? No Yes, annual credit is limited to $2,000 per tax return No; if applicable, parents can claim the deduction for more than one child in the same year N/A
Credit/deduction available in same year as tax-free distribution from a Coverdell education savings account? Yes Yes Yes N/A
Must student be enrolled for a degree or in other program leading to an educational credential? Yes No Yes N/A
Allowed if student has a controlled substance conviction? No Yes Yes N/A


Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc, Copyright 2011