Hello again dj,
Thank you for the clarification.
Actually the new stimulus bill which you refer to is an enhanced version of the current Hope Credit. Under the previous regulations, the Hope Credit offered a 100% credit for the first $1,200 of qualified expenses and 50% of the next $1,200 in qualified expenses, so that the maximum credit which could be claimed was $1,800.
As part of the recently-signed stimulus bill, an ‘enhanced’ Hope Credit, known as the ‘American Opportunity Tax Credit,’ provides 100% credit for the first $2,000 of qualified expenses and 25% for the next $2,000 qualified expenses such as tuition, fees and required books. That’s $2,500 per student on your 2009 and 2010 federal returns versus only $1,800 per student in 2008.
But the same rules
for claiming this credit still apply as I gave you in my original post. So again, you would need to claim your daughter as a dependent on your return in order to qualify for this credit.
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Thank you dj, and please let me know if you have additional questions or need clarification on any of these points.