Tax Deduction for Higher Education Expenses Tuition and Fees

Taxpayers with qualifying incomes may deduct up to $4,000 for qualified education expenses paid during the year. The expenses must be for higher education and include tuition and fees required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible postsecondary educational institution. Expenses may not include personal, living, or family items, such as room and board. The deduction is available even if the taxpayer does not itemize; however, the taxpayer cannot claim the American Opportunity or Lifetime Learning tax credit for the same student in the same year.

This can be used in conjunction with tax-free distributions from Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, qualified tuition programs, and education savings bonds, provided sufficient education expenses form the basis for each benefit. The deduction may be taken for the eligible student who is the taxpayer, spouse or dependent for whom the taxpayer claims an exemption on the tax return. A student claimed as a dependent on someone else's tax return cannot use the tuition deduction. This deduction is not available if filing status is married filing separately. See for additional information.