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Question regarding this past year's 1098-T & related college expenses.

My income is irregular - only comes in the form of dividends, interest, s/t cap gains & l/t cap gains - job-free living. For understandable market reasons, 2008-2010 produced plenty of booked losses & carry-forwards (used up now) which kept my income for those years low to negative. 2010 was modestly positive and the deductibility of education expenses (year 1 college for my son) and associated credits came in very handy. This year, I ended up booking many more gains (low 6-fig in each of s/t cap gains & l/t cap gains) and my income is at a level where the 2011 deductibility is definitely gone and AMT is kicking in.

Is there anything I can do in the way I file now to effectively "save" the 2011 1098-T from this year for use down the road? I don't plan to book as many gains this year and would likely qualify for some deductibility of the expenses unless I get a really high-quality problem of a raging bull market and a happy sell-trigger-finger.

TIA-

et
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Is there anything I can do in the way I file now to effectively "save" the 2011 1098-T from this year for use down the road?

On any return you can use only payments made during that return period. There's some wiggle room in terms of what academic period the payments relate to (for some benefits), but no way to take credit in another year for money paid in 2011.

Phil
Rule Your Retirement Home Fool
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If your son is working and has some taxable income for 2011, he might be able to benefit from the education credits.

To do this, you would choose not to claim him as a dependent on your tax return. Because of AMT, you don't get any tax benefit for him anyway. So it doesn't cost you anything. (On your federal return, anyway. It may make a difference on your state income tax return.)

Then he could claim the education credit on his return. He can't claim himself as a dependent, because you could claim him even though you are choosing not to.

It might save the family a bit of taxes. And it's about the only way to salvage something out of this year's tuition payments.

--Peter
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