Form 8917: Tuition and Deduction (No Longer Available)

While Form 8917 once played a role in claiming tax benefits for educational expenses, it's important to understand that the tuition and fees deduction expired at the end of 2020 and is no longer available. This content will explain what Form 8917 was for and explore alternative options for claiming education-related tax benefits.

What was Form 8917?

  • Form 8917 was an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) form used to deduct qualified tuition and fees paid for higher education.
  • It allowed taxpayers to reduce their taxable income, potentially lowering their tax bill.

What Expenses Could Be Deducted with Form 8917?

  • Qualified education expenses included tuition and fees paid to an eligible educational institution for you, your spouse, or your dependent.
  • Eligible institutions included colleges, universities, vocational schools, and certain post-high school programs.
  • Required fees like lab fees and student activity fees could be included, but room and board were not.
  • There was a maximum deduction amount, which was $4,000 per tax year.

Who Couldn't Use Form 8917?

  • Taxpayers who claimed the American Opportunity Tax Credit or Lifetime Learning Credit on Form 8863 for the same educational expenses couldn't deduct them again with Form 8917.
  • Taxpayers with Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) exceeding a certain threshold also weren't eligible for the full deduction or any deduction at all.

Can I still use Form 8917 for tax years after 2020?

No, the tuition and fees deduction expired at the end of 2020 and is not available for subsequent tax years.

Are there any alternative ways to claim education-related tax benefits?

Yes, there are two education tax credits available:

  1. The American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC)
  2. The Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC)

These credits offer a dollar-for-dollar reduction in your tax bill, potentially providing a greater benefit than the deduction offered by Form 8917.

What if I filed a tax return using Form 8917 for 2020 or earlier?

If you filed a tax return with Form 8917 for a tax year before 2021, your return remains valid. However, you cannot use Form 8917 for tax years after 2020.