American tax credits for college students can be very daunting. This entire financial world is clouded by exhausting legislation, due to the typical American political system, but don’t fret: today we will break it down in an easy to understand way.
Hopefully you will be able to comprehend the system just a bit more, and will be able to use the American opportunity credit to your largest advantage in the coming days.
College life and the four-year plan
In the past few years there have been some important changes made to the college expenses portion of the opportunity credit system. The student tax credit (officially called the American opportunity tax credit) was expanded and renamed in 2009.
It used to be called the Hope scholarship credit, and can still be claimed for things like your tuition expenses, certain school feeds, and course materials. It is important to note that this only applies to higher education, and therefore will really only affect legal adults that are paying their own taxes. The years where these changes took place are 2009-2012, in each of these years there were minor changes made to the legislation.
How long do you have to claim it?
The American opportunity tax credit can be claimed on your taxes within your first four years of post-secondary education, or at least that’s the official word on the subject. So what does this really mean?
Basically you can claim this tax credit anytime you are taking college courses, but it also has to be within your first four years to take full effect. Our advice would be to plan out your taxes in advance, and while this may not seem very fun or enjoyable at first, you will thank yourself in two years when you don’t mess up your reports and lose out on these lucrative methods for saving money as a student.
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