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the cost of books are not deductible as an education expense
So just tuition since I attend an online school?
Yes, just tuition and fees are deductible. Books are not, regardless if you are in school on line or on ground
But it is allowable under the American Opportunity Credit?
Related expenses. Student-activity fees are included in qualified education expenses only if the fees must be paid to the institution as a condition of enrollment or attendance.
However, expenses for books, supplies, and equipment needed for a course of study are included in qualified education expenses whether or not the materials are purchased from the educational institution
That is from the IRS website. Has this changed for the FY 2013?
Yes, books are included in the American Opportunity Credit
Or do you mean I cannot take a tax credit AND deduction together
For example, I don't claim the education credit but I can deduct or vice versa
You cannot take a deduction if you take the credit
So I can count books if I take a credit.
I cannot count books if I take a deduction?
If you take the deduction books do not count towards the deduction. Only if you qualify for the American Opportunity Tax Credit can you get credit for books.
But, the books must be required for your attendance. In this case, the expense is not required - it's an optional expense
They are required because I complete homework problems out of the book
Our homework assignments are based from our readings of the book.
Does this change anything? If not, I will see if I can qualify for the Lifetime Educational Credit
If they are required for your attendance, then you can claim them as part of the American Opportunity Tax Credit
Got it. Okay thank you so much for your help!
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