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Textbooks and Taxes

Filed under: College Life - BookRenter Team
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By BookRenter Andy

by Bohman

Tax day (April 18th) is approaching quickly; we all know how confusing and stressful tax time can be.  To help you get started for the arduous task of filing your taxes we thought we could help you out, by letting you know about a couple of possible credits as a student (or a parent filing for your student) you might be able to take advantage of.

The American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning credit are both available to students (or a parent filing for your student).

American Opportunity Tax Credit

Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), textbook and other course material expenses incurred in 2009 through 2012 that are not covered by scholarship or grant aid may be counted towards the tax credit called the American Opportunity Tax Credit on that respective year’s tax return.

Lifetime Learning Credit

The Lifetime Learning Credit may be claimed for the qualified tuition and related expenses of the students in the taxpayer’s family (i.e., the taxpayer, the taxpayer’s spouse, or an eligible dependent) who are enrolled in eligible educational institutions.

According to the Treasury Department, over 4.5 million families received the AOTC credit in 2009 at an average of $1,700. So make sure you’re receiving what you’re owed!

Important: if you rented or purchased your textbooks from BookRenter, or any other online store, you’ll need to file for the American Opportunity Tax Credit.  With the Lifetime Learning Credit, textbook and course material fees not paid directly to the school/institution do not count as qualified expenses. The AOTC is not available to all students though – you must be pursuing an educational credit of some sort.

To read more about these savings opportunities check out The National Association of College Stores, or NACS, website dedicated to helping you, the students, figure out exactly if and how to write-off education expenses when you file your taxes. Here it is: http://www.textbookaid.org/.

Check it out and make sure you file correctly for 2010. Make sure to hold on to your receipts so you can claim the right amount as expenses!

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