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Author: schreige Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 121481  
Subject: Is Tuition deductible? Date: 12/9/1999 3:09 PM
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I attended college in 1999 part-time while I was a full time employee for a company I've worked for for 3 years. The courses led up to receiving a B.S. in computer science. Is the tuition for this deductible as a misc. item on my Itemized decution form?
I have a vague understanding of what qualifies and I believe I can say the education improved my current job skills. Any help would be much appreciated.
Thanks in advance. Also can you deduct money spent on suits to go on job interviews? It's a stretch but I'm just curious.
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Author: BladeXrunners One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 22740 of 121481
Subject: Re: Is Tuition deductible? Date: 12/9/1999 11:28 PM
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I attended college in 1999 part-time while I was a full time employee for a company I've worked for for 3 years. The courses led up to receiving a B.S. in computer science. Is the tuition for this deductible as a misc. item on my Itemized decution form?

Maybe. You must NOT meet these 2 conditions: 1) the education is needed to meet the minimum educational requirements of your trade or 2) is part of a program that can qualify you for a new trade. If you don't meet either of the above 2 conditions and you meet either 1) it is required by your employer or by law to keep your present salary, status, or job or 2) it maintains/improves skills needed in your present work, then you can deduct educational expenses (tuiton, fees, book, travel, etc).

So what does this means? If you're working as a "computer scientist"--whatever that means, and your company would had hired you whether you have a degree or not, then the educational expenses are deductible. If your company only hire people with B.S. and messed up and hired you even though you didn't have a degree, then it's not deductible (the education is required for the minimum educational level). If you're a receptionist workin in a software company, then it doesn't (the education qualify you for a new trade). If you're a "computer handler", then it's up to you to convince the IRS that the B.S. Computer Science only maintain/improve your skill and does not qualify you for a new "trade"; i.e. you have to convince that them that someone with a B.S Computer Science will be doing what you're doing.

Don't forget you may qualify for HOPE Credit or Lifetime Learning Credit (they're credit for education). So even if your education doesn't qualify as a deductible educational expense, it may qualify for HOPE Credit. If not, most qualify for the Lifetime Learning Credit.

To qualify for HOPE, you must be a freshman or sophomore, taking classes leading to a degree/credential, is taking at least one-half of the normal full-time work load, and you must not had been convicted for felony possession/distribution of a controlled substance. The HOPE credit 100% of the first $1,000 and 50% of the next $1,000. (In case you didn't know, credit is subtracted from your tax liability whereas deduction is subtracted from you income).

To qualify for the Lifetime Learning Credit, you must be enrolled in an eligible educational institution. The credit is 20% of the first $5,000.

As always, there is an income phaseout. So check with the IRS publication for the range and also for what may be claimed as "expenses".

Thanks in advance. Also can you deduct money spent on suits to go on job interviews? It's a stretch but I'm just curious.

Nice try. A general rule of thumb, if "it" can be used for something else other than "its intended purpose", then you can't deduct "it". In this case, you can wear a suit whether or not you go on job interview, so money spent on suits for job interviews is not deductible. But everything else relating to finding/keeping a job is deductible (see the rule of thumb, though). For example, if you have to fly to Hawaii for a job interview, then those costs are deductible. Now if you flew out 2 days early or stay 2 days later, then you'll have to convince the IRS why that was required for your interview.

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Author: theslayor Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 22761 of 121481
Subject: Re: Is Tuition deductible? Date: 12/10/1999 2:22 AM
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The real question is whether or not it qualified you for another job, or improves your ability to do your current one. I will let you be the judge of that, but suggest you be very careful.

I think a rule of thumb is that undergrad isn't deductible.

I know for a fact that law school isn't. But, if you work as an attorney and then go back to get an advanced law degree, that one is. I learned this one a year too late. Also, an MBA is, unless you are coming straight out of college, then I don't think it is.

You could deduct your suits, but the stretch would be in a federal penitentary. Just kidding, but don't do it. If you needed a uniform for work, then yes, but you are trying to get a job and it isn't a uniform, so no.

Just a thought...

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Author: JoshWray Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 22768 of 121481
Subject: Re: Is Tuition deductible? Date: 12/10/1999 3:16 AM
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There is something called the "Hope scholarship" which let's you deduct up to $1,500 a year for your first two years of undergrad. here is a link with more info:

http://www.sfsu.edu/~finaid/scholarships/hope.htm

It's only for your TUITION, not various expenses.


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Author: TMFTaxes Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 22945 of 121481
Subject: Re: Is Tuition deductible? Date: 12/12/1999 5:04 PM
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<<I attended college in 1999 part-time while I was a full time employee for a company I've worked for for 3 years. The courses led up to receiving a B.S. in computer science. Is the tuition for this deductible as a misc. item on my Itemized decution form?
I have a vague understanding of what qualifies and I believe I can say the education improved my current job skills. Any help would be much appreciated.
Thanks in advance. Also can you deduct money spent on suits to go on job interviews? It's a stretch but I'm just curious.>>

In addition to the responses that you have already been given, you can read more about education expenses and deductions, the HOPE credit, the Lifetime Learning Credit, and other education issues in the Taxes FAQ area. There are a NUMBER of posts dealing with these specific issues. For a real education, check 'em out.

TMF Taxes
Roy

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