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Education & Employment

Lifetime Learning Credit

Benefit overview

The lifetime learning credit is a federal tax credit for qualified tuition and related expenses. It is for eligible students enrolled in an eligible academic institution. This credit can help pay for undergrad, graduate and professional degree courses. This includes courses to acquire or improve job skills. There is no limit on the number of years you can claim the credit. It is worth up to $2,000 per tax return.

There are income limits for the credit. The amount of the credit is gradually reduced as adjusted income increases. The credit amount is 20% of the first $10,000 of qualified education expenses or a maximum of $2,000 per return. The credit is not refundable. You can use the credit to pay any tax you owe, but you won’t receive any of the credit back as a refund.

How this benefit helps

The Lifetime Learning Credit is a tax credit. It reduces the amount of tax an individual owes if they pay qualified education expenses for higher education. The credit helps eligible taxpayers by:

  • Reducing the amount of tax you owe
  • Helping you pay for continuing education
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Use the Lifetime Learning Credit to save money

The Lifetime Learning Credit can reduce the taxes you owe.

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The Lifetime Learning Credit can help you meet your educational and career goals

Continuing your education can help you achieve your career goals, both inside and outside the military.

How to access this benefit

To claim the Lifetime Learning Credit, you must have received a Form 1098-T, Tuition Statement, from an eligible institution. To claim the credit, complete Form 8863. Attach the completed form to your Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR.

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