Making the Most of 2012 Education Credits

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The American Opportunity credit (up to $2,500 per year per student for qualifying expenses for the first four years of postsecondary education) and the Lifetime Learning credit (up to $2,000 per tax return for postsecondary education expenses beyond the first four years) reduce taxes dollar-for-dollar. Both a credit and a tax-free Section 529 plan or Coverdell Education Savings Account distribution can be taken as long as expenses paid with the distribution aren’t used to claim the credit.

But income-based phaseouts apply to these credits. If you don’t qualify because your income is too high, your child might. However, you must forgo your dependency exemption ($3,800 for 2012) for the child — and the child can’t take the exemption.

If your family incurred postsecondary education expenses in 2012, please contact us to determine how you can make the most of these credits.

Source: PDI Global

About the Author

Keiter CPAs is a certified public accounting firm serving the audittax, accounting and consulting needs of businesses and their owners located in Richmond and across Virginia. We focus on serving emerging growth businesses and companies in the financial servicesconstructionreal estatemanufacturingretail & distribution industries and nonprofits. We also provide business valuations and forensic accounting servicesfamily office services, and inbound international services.

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The information contained within this article is provided for informational purposes only and is current as of the date published. Online readers are advised not to act upon this information without seeking the service of a professional accountant, as this article is not a substitute for obtaining accounting, tax, or financial advice from a professional accountant.


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