The Lifetime Learning credit is available to reduce federal income taxes for qualified tuition and fees (not for room, board, or books) paid for a student at an eligible educational institution. Expenses for courses to acquire or improve job skills qualify for the credit as well.
The Lifetime Learning credit equals 20% of the first $10,000 of qualified education expenses annually. The Lifetime Learning credit is available for any course work at a qualified education institution that improves job skills. Only one Lifetime Learning credit is available annually to a taxpayer, regardless of the number of students incurring qualified tuition expenses.
In 2019 the credit is phased out for joint filers with modified AGI between $116,000 and $136,000 ($114,000 and $134,000 in 2018); and $58,000 and $68,000 ($57,000 and $67,000 in 2018) for single filers. These income amounts will be annually adjusted for inflation.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are married filing a separate return, you cannot claim the higher education credits.
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