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Subject:  Re: HOPE Scholarship Credit--2 or 3 tax years? Date:  2/1/1999  10:18 PM
Author:  TMFTaxes Number:  9373 of 127613

[[The Tax FAQ on the HOPE, & other sources, talk about the HOPE applying to
the first two years of post-secondary education. Can this be three tax years for a
"normal" college student beginning freshman year in year 1, freshman &
sophomore years in year 2, and completing the sophomore year [second year of
post-secondary education] in the third tax year?]]

Nope. The law was written this way to discourage "professional students". Heck, I have clients kids that have been in college for 6 years now, and have just gotten into their third year of education.

The only real way around this, since you must deal with calendar years (and not necessarily school years) is to prepay your 2nd half of education expenses late in calendar year 2. That may or may not help you.

But remember that even if the HOPE credit expires, you may STILL qualify for the Lifetime Learning Credit.

[[ The IRS pub. on this topic implies two tax years as well as two scholastic years.]]

Check out IRS Publication 970. You can download/read IRS Publication 970 at the IRS web site.

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