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The Lifetime Learning Credit is a nonrefundable credit available to students and adults who are pursuing lifelong learning to upgrade their job skills. It may be claimed for payments of qualified tuition and related expense payments made on, or after, July 1, 1998, for academic periods beginning on, or after, July 1, 1998. This credit is an amount equal to 20% of the first $10,000 of qualified tuition and related expenses.

  • This tax credit is applicable to those enrolled as undergraduate, graduate education, or education geared to improve or acquire job skills.
  • An eligible student must have a high school diploma or its equivalent.
  • The Lifetime Learning Tax Credit may be claimed for an unlimited number of years as long as the individual meets the income limits and takes classes at an eligible institution.
  • The Lifetime Learning Tax Credit may be claimed for the taxpayer, the taxpayer's spouse, or an eligible dependent. This credit does not vary according to the number of students in a household.
  • The tax credit may be used for part-time study, unlike the Hope Tax Credit requirements, which stipulate a half-time enrollment status.
  • The Lifetime Learning Tax Credit covers qualified costs, which includes tuition and fees, but specifically excludes books, room and board, nonacademic fees (i.e. student activity fee, athletic fees, insurance expenses, etc.), and expenses involving sports, games, or hobbies unless they are part of the student's degree program.
  • Scholarships and grant aid do not count as qualified tuition and related expenses paid by the taxpayer. Only out-of-pocket expenses count, however, this includes gifts, bequests, and inheritances as qualified tuition and expenses paid by the taxpayer.
  • The credit gradually phased out for taxpayers who have a modified adjusted gross income between $40,000 and $50,000 ($80,000 to $100, 000 for married taxpayers filing jointly).

For more information concerning the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit, call the Internal Revenue Service at 800-829-1040 or visit their website.

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Shepherd University | P.O. Box 5000 | Shepherdstown, WV | 25443-5000 | 304-876-5000 | 800-344-5231 | FAX 304-876-3101