The American Opportunity Credit: Worth up to $2,500 per eligible student. Used only for the first four years at an eligible college or vocational school for students earning a degree or other recognized credential. For students going to school at least half-time for at least one academic period that started during or shortly after the tax year.
The Lifetime Learning Credit: Worth up to $2,000 per return/per year for all years of higher education, including classes for learning or improving job skills.
The Tuition and Fees Deduction: Worth up to $4,000 and is claimed as an adjustment to income and limited to tuition and certain related expenses required for enrollment or attendance at eligible schools.
You should receive Form 1098-T, Tuition Statement, from your school by Feb. 1, 2016. You may only claim qualifying expenses paid in 2015. You can’t claim either credit if someone else claims you as a dependent. You can’t claim either AOTC or LLC and the Tuition and Fees Deduction for the same student or for the same expense, in the same year. Finally, income limits could reduce the amount of credits or deductions you can claim. -LB