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[[I have a question concerning the HOPE and Lifetime Learning credits. I paid a portion of my
daughters college tuition for her second year in early 1998 (about $1000). Now I am paying for the
first portion ( about $1400) for her third year of college (again in 1998). After reading the posts on
the two credits, I'm not sure whether or not I can claim both credits in one year for the same


The FIRST thing that you should probably do is to check with the school. I'm sure that they have a bunch of information on both of these credits that may provide additional examples and give you much more information.

'Cause I'm afraid that you might not like my answers.

The law is clear that you may NOT calim both credits for the same student in the same year.

For example, in Sept 1998 the Smiths pay $9,000 of qualifying tuition and expenses for their dependent daughter , who is an entering freshman at a private college. The Smith's modified AGI is under the required limit. They claim a $1,500 HOPE credit on their 1998 tax return based on $2,000 of qualifying expenses. The Smiths may not claim a Lifetime Learning Credit for the balance of their daughter's expenses.

In other words, for each year in which a student meets the eligiblity requirements for the HOPE credit, the student's expenses may be used as the basis for a HOPE credit OR a Lifetime Learning Credit, but NOT both.

This is pointed out in IRS Notice 97-60, Section 1, Q&A #17.

[[ Can I clain the HOPE credit for the $1000 I paid for her second year of school in 1998
AND the amount I paid for the third year in 1998 under the Lifetime Learning credit?]]

Sorry, but as noted above, the anser is no.

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