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Frequently Asked Tax Questions

Itemized Deductions, Standard Deduction - Education & Work-Related Expenses

  1. May I claim both my job-related education expenses as an itemized deduction and an education credit on my tax return?
  2. My employer reimbursed me for my graduate school tuition and included it on my W-2 as wages. The program improves skills needed in my current field of employment but doesn't qualify me for a new trade or business. Where can I claim this educational expense on my Form 1040?
  3. Last year, my parents and I both took out student loans for me. We both received Form 1098-E for our separate loans. I wasn't their dependent last year. Can we both claim student loan interest on our tax returns?

Rev. date: 03/08/2019

May I claim both my job-related education expenses as an itemized deduction and an education credit on my tax return?

You cannot deduct job-related education expenses as an itemized deduction. Refer to Publication 970,Tax Benefits for Education and Am I Eligible to Claim an Education Credit? to determine if you qualify for any education credits for the work-related educational expenses you incur.

Rev. date: 05/14/2019

My employer reimbursed me for my graduate school tuition and included it on my W-2 as wages. The program improves skills needed in my current field of employment but doesn't qualify me for a new trade or business. Where can I claim this educational expense on my Form 1040?

Because your employer included your tuition reimbursement in your wages, you're treated as paying the tuition yourself out-of-pocket. To determine where to claim the educational expense, review all of the education credits and deductions available for the tax year. 
Also review your eligibility for taking the expense as an adjustment to income for a Performing Artist and/or Fee Basis Official on Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. You may need to attach Form 2106, Employee Business Expenses.

See Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education for a full list.
 

Rev. date: 03/08/2019

Last year, my parents and I both took out student loans for me. We both received Form 1098-E for our separate loans. I wasn't their dependent last year. Can we both claim student loan interest on our tax returns?

Your parents cannot claim the deduction for student loan interest on their tax return because you were not their dependent at the time they took out a student loan for you. However, you can claim the deduction with respect to the loan that you took out for yourself (assuming that you meet the other requirements for this deduction).
On the other hand, if the facts were different and you were your parents’ dependent at the time that they took out a student loan for you, then your parents could claim the deduction with respect to this loan. Note that you may be considered your parents’ dependent even if they were unable to claim you as a dependent on their tax returns. Note also that if your parents did claim you as a dependent on their tax returns, then you would no longer be able to claim the deduction with respect to the loan that you took out for yourself.