skip navigation
Search Help
Navigation Help

Tax Map Index
ABCDEFGHI
JKLMNOPQR
STUVWXYZ#

Tax Reform
Tax Topic Index

International
Tax Topic Index

Affordable Care Act
Tax Topic Index

Exempt Organization
Tax Topic Index

FAQs
Forms
Publications
Tax Topics
Worksheets

Comments
About Tax Map

IRS.gov Website
taxmap/pubs/p970-000.htm#en_us_publink1000177955
Publication 970

Tax Benefits for Education

rule

Future Developments(p2)

rule
For the latest information about developments related to Pub. 970, such as legislation enacted after it was published, go to IRS.gov/Pub970.

What's New(p2)

rule
taxmap/pubs/p970-000.htm#en_us_publink100011547
Forms 1040A and 1040EZ no longer available.(p2)
Forms 1040A and 1040EZ aren't available to file your 2018 taxes. If you used one of these forms in the past, you will now file Form 1040. Some forms and publications that were released in 2017 or early 2018 (for example, Form W-2) may still have references to Form 1040A or Form 1040EZ. Please disregard these references.
taxmap/pubs/p970-000.htm#en_us_publink100077802
Lifetime learning credit.(p2)
For 2018, the amount of your lifetime learning credit is gradually reduced (phased out) if your MAGI is between $57,000 and $67,000 ($114,000 and $134,000 if you file a joint return). You can't claim the credit if your MAGI is $67,000 or more ($134,000 or more if you file a joint return). See chapter 3.
taxmap/pubs/p970-000.htm#en_us_publink100077803
Student loan interest deduction.(p2)
For 2018, the amount of your student loan interest deduction is gradually reduced (phased out) if your MAGI is between $65,000 and $80,000 ($135,000 and $165,000 if you file a joint return). You can’t claim the deduction if your MAGI is $80,000 or more ($165,000 or more if you file a joint return). See chapter 4.
taxmap/pubs/p970-000.htm#en_us_publink100077804
Student loan.(p2)
If a student loan (including a private education loan) is discharged after December 31, 2017, on account of the student’s death or disability, you may not have to include any amount in income. See chapter 5.
taxmap/pubs/p970-000.htm#en_us_publink100077805
Tuition and fees deduction.(p2)
The tuition and fees deduction expired at the end of 2017.
EIC
At the time this publication went to print, the tuition and fees deduction formerly discussed in chapter 6 had expired. To find out if legislation extended the deduction so you can claim it on your 2018 return, go to IRS.gov/Extenders.
taxmap/pubs/p970-000.htm#en_us_publink100077806
Qualified elementary and secondary education expenses.(p2)
For distributions made from qualified tuition programs (QTPs or "529 plans") after 2017, qualified education expenses may include no more than $10,000 paid for elementary or secondary school tuition incurred after 2017. See chapter 8.
taxmap/pubs/p970-000.htm#en_us_publink100077807
Rollovers to ABLE accounts.(p2)
An amount distributed from a QTP after December 22, 2017, isn't taxable if it's rolled over to an ABLE account for the benefit of the same beneficiary or for the benefit of a member of the beneficiary's family (including the beneficiary's spouse). But this doesn’t apply to the extent the amount distributed when added to other amounts contributed to the ABLE account exceeds the annual contribution limit. See chapter 8.
taxmap/pubs/p970-000.htm#en_us_publink100077808
Education savings bond program.(p2)
For 2018, the amount of your education savings bond interest exclusion is gradually reduced (phased out) if your MAGI is between $79,550 and $94,550 ($119,300 and $149,300 if you file a joint return). You can't exclude any of the interest if your MAGI is $94,550 or more ($149,300 or more if you file a joint return). See chapter 10.
taxmap/pubs/p970-000.htm#en_us_publink100011549
Miscellaneous itemized deductions.(p2)
You can no longer deduct work-related education expenses as a miscellaneous itemized deduction subject to a 2%-of-adjusted-gross-income floor. See chapter 12.
taxmap/pubs/p970-000.htm#en_us_publink100077809
Business deduction for work-related education.(p2)
Generally, if you claim a business deduction for work-related education and you drive your car to and from school, the amount you can deduct for miles driven from January 1, 2018, through December 31, 2018, is 54.5 cents a mile. See chapter 12.

Reminders(p2)

rule
taxmap/pubs/p970-000.htm#en_us_publink100011095
Educational institution's EIN required.(p2)
To claim the American opportunity credit, you must provide the educational institution's employer identification number (EIN) on your Form 8863. You should be able to obtain this information from Form 1098-T or the educational institution. See chapter 2.
taxmap/pubs/p970-000.htm#en_us_publink100011097
Form 8862 may be required.(p2)
If your American opportunity credit was denied or reduced for any reason other than a math or clerical error for any tax year beginning after 2015, you must attach a completed Form 8862, Information To Claim Certain Refundable Credits After Disallowance, to your tax return for the next year for which you claim the credit. See chapter 2.
taxmap/pubs/p970-000.htm#en_us_publink100077810
Form 1098-T, Tuition Statement.(p2)
When figuring an education credit, use only the amounts you paid and are deemed to have paid during the tax year for qualified education expenses. In most cases, the student should receive Form 1098-T from the eligible educational institution by January 31, 2019. However, the amount on Form 1098-T might be different from the amount you actually paid and are deemed to have paid. In addition, the Form 1098-T should give you other information for that institution, such as adjustments made for prior years, the amount of scholarships or grants, reimbursements, or refunds, and whether the student was enrolled at least half-time or was a graduate student. The eligible educational institution may ask for a completed Form W-9S, Request for Student's or Borrower's Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification, or similar statement to obtain the student's name, address, and taxpayer identification number.
taxmap/pubs/p970-000.htm#en_us_publink100077811
Form 1098-T requirement.(p3)
To be eligible to claim the American opportunity credit or the lifetime learning credit, the law requires a taxpayer (or a dependent) to have received Form 1098-T, Tuition Statement, from an eligible educational institution, whether domestic or foreign.
However, you may claim a credit if the student doesn't receive a Form 1098-T because the student's educational institution isn't required to furnish a Form 1098-T to the student under existing rules (for example, if the student is a qualified nonresident alien, has qualified education expenses paid entirely with scholarships, has qualified education expenses paid under a formal billing arrangement, or is enrolled in courses for which no academic credit is awarded). If a student's educational institution isn't required to provide a Form 1098-T to the student, you may claim a credit without a Form 1098-T if you otherwise qualify, can demonstrate that you (or a dependent) were enrolled at an eligible educational institution, and can substantiate the payment of qualified tuition and related expenses.
You may also claim a credit if the student attended an eligible educational institution required to furnish Form 1098-T but the student doesn’t receive Form 1098-T before you file your tax return (for example, if the institution otherwise required to furnish the Form 1098-T doesn’t furnish it or refuses to do so) and you take the following required steps. After January 31, 2019, but before the due date for your 2018 tax return, you or the student must request that the educational institution furnish a Form 1098-T. You must fully cooperate with the educational institution's efforts to gather the information needed to furnish the Form 1098-T. You must also otherwise qualify for the benefit, be able to demonstrate that you (or a dependent) were enrolled at an eligible educational institution, and substantiate the payment of qualified tuition and related expenses.
taxmap/pubs/p970-000.htm#en_us_publink100077812
Ban on claiming the American opportunity credit.(p3)
If you claim the American opportunity credit even though you're not eligible, you may be banned from claiming the credit for 2 or 10 years depending on your conduct. See chapter 2.
taxmap/pubs/p970-000.htm#en_us_publink100077813
Taxpayer identification number (TIN) needed by due date of return.(p3)
If you haven’t been issued a TIN by the due date of your 2018 return (including extensions), you can't claim the American opportunity credit on either your original or an amended 2018 return. Also, the American opportunity credit isn't allowed on either your original or an amended 2018 return for a student who hasn’t been issued a TIN by the due date of your return (including extensions). See chapter 2.
taxmap/pubs/p970-000.htm#en_us_publink100025370
Coordination with Pell grants and other scholarships or fellowship grants.(p3)
It may benefit you to choose to include otherwise tax-free scholarships or fellowship grants in income. This may increase your education credit and lower your total tax or increase your refund. See Coordination with Pell grants and other scholarships or fellowship grants in chapter 2 and chapter 3.
taxmap/pubs/p970-000.htm#en_us_publink100053016
Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) account.(p3)
This is a savings account for individuals with disabilities and their families. Distributions are tax free if used to pay the beneficiary's qualified disability expenses, which may include education expenses. For more information, see Pub. 907, Tax Highlights for Persons With Disabilities.
taxmap/pubs/p970-000.htm#en_us_publink1000268125
Estimated tax payments.(p3)
If you have taxable income from any of your education benefits and the payer doesn't withhold enough income tax, you may need to make estimated tax payments. For more information, see Pub. 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax.
taxmap/pubs/p970-000.htm#en_us_publink1000177973
Photographs of missing children.(p3)
The Internal Revenue Service is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC). Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child.

taxmap/pubs/p970-000.htm#en_us_publink1000273659Introduction

This publication explains tax benefits that may be available to you if you are saving for or paying education costs for yourself or, in many cases, another student who is a member of your immediate family. Most benefits apply only to higher education.
taxmap/pubs/p970-000.htm#en_us_publink1000177974

What is in this publication.(p3)

rule
Chapter 1 explains the tax treatment of various types of educational assistance, including scholarships, fellowship grants, and tuition reductions.
Two tax credits for which you may be eligible are explained in chapter 2 and chapter 3. These benefits, which reduce the amount of income tax you may have to pay, are:
Ten other types of benefits are explained in chapters 4 through 12. These benefits, which reduce the amount of income tax you may have to pay, are:
Note.You generally can't claim more than one of the benefits described in the list above for the same qualifying education expense.
taxmap/pubs/p970-000.htm#en_us_publink1000177976
Comparison table.(p4)
Some of the features of these benefits are highlighted in Appendix B, later, in this publication. This general comparison table may guide you in determining which benefits you may be eligible for and which chapters you may want to read.
Deposit
When you figure your taxes, you may want to compare these tax benefits so you can choose the method(s) that gives you the lowest tax liability. If you qualify, you may find that a combination of credit(s) and deduction(s) gives you the lowest tax.
taxmap/pubs/p970-000.htm#en_us_publink1000177978

Analyzing your tax withholding.(p4)

rule
After you estimate your education tax benefits for the year, you may be able to reduce the amount of your federal income tax withholding. Also, you may want to recheck your withholding during the year if your personal or financial situation changes. For more information, see Pub. 505, Tax Withholding and Estimated Tax.
taxmap/pubs/p970-000.htm#en_us_publink1000177979

Glossary.(p4)

rule
In this publication, wherever appropriate, we have tried to use the same or similar terminology when referring to the basic components of each education benefit. Some of the terms used are:
Even though the same term, such as qualified education expenses, is used to label a basic component of many of the education benefits, the same expenses aren't necessarily allowed for each benefit. For example, the cost of room and board is a qualified education expense for the qualified tuition program, but not for the education savings bond program.
Many of the terms used in the publication are defined in the glossary near the end of the publication. The glossary isn't intended to be a substitute for reading the chapter on a particular education benefit, but it will give you an overview of how certain terms are used in discussing the different benefits.
taxmap/pubs/p970-000.htm#en_us_publink100011430

Comments and suggestions.(p4)

rule
We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions.
You can send us comments through IRS.gov/FormComments. Or you can write to:

Internal Revenue Service
Tax Forms and Publications
1111 Constitution Ave. NW, IR-6526
Washington, DC 20224


Although we can’t respond individually to each comment received, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax forms, instructions, and publications.
taxmap/pubs/p970-000.htm#en_us_publink100011431
Ordering forms and publications.(p4)
Visit IRS.gov/FormsPubs to download forms and publications. Otherwise, you can go to IRS.gov/OrderForms to order current and prior-year forms and instructions. Your order should arrive within 10 business days.
taxmap/pubs/p970-000.htm#en_us_publink100011432
Tax questions.(p4)
If you have a tax question not answered by this publication, check IRS.gov and How To Get Tax Help ( chapter 13).

taxmap/pubs/p970-000.htm#TXMP6d15563c

Useful items

You may want to see:


Publication
 463  Travel, Gift, and Car Expenses
 525  Taxable and Nontaxable Income
 550  Investment Income and Expenses
 590-A  Contributions to Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs)
 590-B  Distributions from Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs)
Form (and Instructions)
 1040: U.S. Individual Income Tax Return
 1040NR: U.S. Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return
 1040NR-EZ: U.S. Income Tax Return for Certain Nonresident Aliens With No Dependents
 2106: Employee Business Expenses
 5329: Additional Taxes on Qualified Plans and Other Tax-Favored Accounts
 8815: Exclusion of Interest From Series EE and I U.S. Savings Bonds Issued After 1989
 8863: Education Credits

See chapter 13 for information about getting these publications and forms.