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Megan C
Megan C, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 16580
Experience:  Licensed CPA, CFE, CMA, CGMA who teaches accounting courses at Master's Level
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Hi There! Can I claim textbook rentals for a class I take online?

This answer was rated:

Hi There! Can I claim textbook rentals for a class I take online? The school provides e-textbooks but I prefer the physical hardcopy to take with me in case I'm not connected to the internet?

Megan C :

Hello! I am a CPA here to assist you with your tax questions. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

Megan C :

the cost of books are not deductible as an education expense

Customer:

So just tuition since I attend an online school?

Megan C :

Yes, just tuition and fees are deductible. Books are not, regardless if you are in school on line or on ground

Customer:

But it is allowable under the American Opportunity Credit?

Customer:

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

Customer:

That is from the IRS website. Has this changed for the FY 2013?

Megan C :

Yes, books are included in the American Opportunity Credit

Customer:

Or do you mean I cannot take a tax credit AND deduction together

Customer:

For example, I don't claim the education credit but I can deduct or vice versa

Megan C :

You cannot take a deduction if you take the credit

Customer:

So I can count books if I take a credit.

Customer:

I cannot count books if I take a deduction?

Megan C :

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.

Megan C :

But, the books must be required for your attendance. In this case, the expense is not required - it's an optional expense

Customer:

They are required because I complete homework problems out of the book

Customer:

Our homework assignments are based from our readings of the book.

Customer:

Does this change anything? If not, I will see if I can qualify for the Lifetime Educational Credit

Megan C :

If they are required for your attendance, then you can claim them as part of the American Opportunity Tax Credit

Customer:

Got it. Okay thank you so much for your help!

Megan C :

You're welcome. If you would, please take a moment to rate my response as "excellent" so that I may receive credit for assisting you today

Megan C and other Tax Specialists are ready to help you
Thanks, Jean for your positive rating. Please come back and visit me any time you have a question that needs answered. It was a pleasure working with you.