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American Opportunity Tax Credit

Here are some important facts to help you and your family determine your eligibility for the American Opportunity Tax Credit, a part of the tax code that supports students and their families in paying for college. Please see for more information.

  • The American Opportunity Tax Credit can be claimed for expenses for the first four years of post-secondary education.
  • It is a tax credit of up to $2,500 of the cost of qualified tuition and related expenses paid during the taxable year.
  • Qualifying expenses include tuition, books, supplies and equipment needed for a course of study
  • Taxpayers will receive a tax credit based on 100 percent of the first $2,000 of tuition, fees and course materials paid during the taxable year, plus 25 percent of the next $2,000 of tuition, fees and course materials paid during the taxable year.
  • If you are eligible for more credit than your tax liability, up to a maximum refund of 40 percent of the amount of the credit for which you're eligible is refundable to you.
  • Taxpayers with a modified adjusted gross income of $80,000 or less ($160,000 or less for joint filers) are potentially eligible for the full credit and the credit is reduced ratably up for modified adjusted gross incomes up to $90,000.
  • To claim the credit you, or the person who claims you as a dependent, must use Form 8863 available on
  • You cannot claim the tuition and fees tax deduction in the same year that you claim the American Opportunity Tax Credit or the Lifetime Learning Credit.