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Hello Rick,

A non-institutional class in alternative farming could be expensed on your tax return. If you are already a free-lance farmer, or a teacher, or a writer, you could be using the course to develop your occupational skills(shoveling manure, teaching, or writing about the subject, respectively. If you have not started your farming, but do start the business, I would include the expense as a start-up expense for the enterprise, to be amortized. If you are an employee in one of the relevant categories, you could claim the expense as a miscellaneous deduction on Sch A subject to the 2% of AGI haircut. The lifetime learning credit and the new education expense deduction are out because the course is not offered by an approved institution.

Bill Patch
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