Figure 3-1. Can You Claim the Lifetime Learning Credit for 2015?

Summary: This flowchart is used to determine if you qualify to claim the lifetime learning credit for 2015.


This is the start of the flowchart.

Decision (1)

Did you pay qualified education expenses in 2015 for an eligible student?*
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Decision (2)

Did the academic period for which you paid qualified education expenses begin in 2015 or the first 3 months of 2016?

Decision (3)

Is the eligible student you, your spouse (if married filing jointly), or your dependent for whom you claim an exemption on your tax return?

Decision (4)

Are you listed as a dependent on another person's tax return?

Decision (5)

Is your filing status married filing separately?

Decision (6)

For any part of 2015 were you (or your spouse) a nonresident alien who didn't elect to be treated as a resident alien for tax purposes?

Decision (7)

Is your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) less than $65,000 ($131,000 if married filing jointly)?

Decision (8)

Do you have a tax liability (Form 1040, line 47 minus lines 48, 49, and the amount from Schedule R entered on line 22) (Form 1040A, line 30 minus lines 31 and 32)?

Decision (9)

Are you claiming an American opportunity credit for the same student?

Decision (10)

Did you use the same expenses to claim a deduction or credit, or to figure the tax-free portion of a Coverdell ESA or QTP distribution?

Decision (11)

Were the same expenses paid with a tax-free scholarship, grant, or employer-provided assistance?

Decision (12)

Did you, or someone else who paid these expenses on behalf of a student , receive a refund of all the expenses?

Process (a)

You can't claim the lifetime learning credit for 2015.

Process (b)

You can claim the lifetime learning credit for 2015.


Footnote: Qualified education expenses paid by your dependent or by a third party for your dependent are considered paid by you.
Your education credits may be limited to your tax liability minus certain credits. See Form 8863 for more details.


This is the end of the flowchart.

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