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Yesterday I received in the mail a catelog for the local community college. They have a new offering for professional cooking. I had been wanting to take a professional cooking class, but until recently, it was only offered by another community college too far away. But now I'm so happy, because this one is nearby!

Unfortunately, the class is expensive. It's $240 for 12 classes (3 hours each). That includes food but not knives or clothes. It is part of a degree or certificate in restaurant careers or something like that; I have no interest in a career.

But I do think that being a better cook might well improve the luxury component of RWOL. I wanna be like sykesix.

Today I checked out the IRS about whether the tuition might be given a tax break. Indeed, it might. The community college is on the approved list. You can find out here if one near you is:

http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/fotw0405/fslookup.htm

I don't know the details yet, but here is a FAQ from the IRS about the Lifetime Learning Credit. Perhaps someone else can shed some light. This is my first look at the subject:

http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=96273,00.html

- tmeri
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Hate to burst your bubble but I don't think "recreational" courses apply.

Amounts paid for any course or other education involving sports, games, or hobbies are not eligible for the credit, unless the course or other education is part of the student's degree program.

-Steph
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Hate to burst your bubble but I don't think "recreational" courses apply.

You are not bursting my bubble. I will take the course regardless of whether I can get a tax credit. I posted this for the benefit of readers who may find similar opportunities and might not know about the tax credit possibility.

I don't really think certification in restaurant service could really be considered a sport, game, or hobby. The community college offers many other courses in things like sewing and painting that don't lead to degrees that clearly are part of the "sport, game, or hobby" category.

This is a genuine degree program. It may be that all I need to do to qualify is take the classes. I don't think I have to SWEAR I'll get a job in a restaurant to get a certification. ;-)

Thanks for the comments.

- tmeri
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Steph wrote:

Amounts paid for any course or other education involving sports, games, or hobbies are not eligible for the credit, unless the course or other education is part of the student's degree program.


Where did you find that? I'm unable to find that on the IRS website.

- tmeri
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Where did you find that? I'm unable to find that on the IRS website.

- tmeri


It was a link within the second link you gave. Somewhere in the Hope Credit FAQ I believe. Regarding your original post - I misread and didn't realize the course WAS part of a degree or certificate program, therefore eligible for the tax credit. Sorry.

-Steph
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But I do think that being a better cook might well improve the luxury component of RWOL. I wanna be like sykesix.

LOL! I'm taking my first ever cooking class tonight. Its a little spendy, $45 for a three hour class and I'm not sure it will improve my life experience by $45 or not, but I am looking forward to it. The guy teaching it used to cook at the French Laundry and the Herbfarm.

After poking around a bit, I found there are tons of cooking class locally. Some of them are taught in cooking supply stores, but lots of them are taught in private homes. I this works out okay, I might try another.

The Herbfarm cookbook is my all time favorite, btw:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0684839768/ref=pd_ecc_rvi_1/102-9726999-7570523
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Where did you find that? I'm unable to find that on the IRS website.

- tmeri


Here it is -

http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=96271,00.html#QA5

-Steph
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The Hope Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit are two different things. The Hope Credit is only for the first two years of post-secondary education, while the Lifetime Learning Credit can be used every year. But there are criteria for the LLC saying that it has to be applicable to job or career enhancment.

http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc605.html

shortstop14
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