What is Form 8917?
Form 8917, Tuition and Fees Deduction, is a form used to figure and take deductions for tuition and fees expenses paid. The deduction will be based on the adjusted qualified education expenses paid to an eligible educational program or institution.
Who is eligible to file Form 8917?
The deduction is available for the tuition and fees paid if you, your spouse, or a dependent you claim on your tax return was a student who has enrolled or attended an eligible educational program. The basis of the deduction for the tuition and fees varies on the amount of qualified education expenses that were paid for the student in the current year for academic periods beginning in the current year or beginning in the first 3 months of the following year.
The deduction for education expenses for a dependent must have paid the expenses in the current year, and thus claiming the student as a dependent on your current year’s tax return (the “Dependents” line of Form 1040 or 1040-SR).
Also, the law requires a taxpayer or a dependent to have obtained a Form 1098-T from an accredited educational institution to be eligible to claim the tuition and fees deduction. However, a taxpayer may claim one of these education benefits if the student doesn’t receive a Form 1098-T because the student’s educational institution is not asking to have the Form 1098-T sent to the student under existing rules.
How to fill out Form 8917?
Name(s) shown on return
Enter the full name that appears on the return.
Social Security Number
Enter your social security number.
(a) Student’s Name
Enter the full name of the student as shown on page 1 of your tax return in this format: first name and last name.
If you have more than three (3) qualified students for the deduction of tuition and fees, type “See attached” next to Line 1 and attach a statement with the required information for each additional student. Include the amounts from Line 1, column (c), for all students in the total you enter on line 2.
(b) Student’s Social Security Number
Enter the student’s social security number (SSN) as shown on page 1 of your tax return.
(c) Adjusted Qualified Expenses
Enter the amount of adjusted qualified education expenses.
The expenses must have been paid for the student in the current year for academic periods beginning in the current year but before April 1 of the following year.
Find the sum of the amounts on Line 1, column C, and enter the total on line 2.
Enter the amount from your total income line of Form 1040 or 1040-SR.
Enter the total amounts on your 2018 Schedule 1 (Form 1040), line 23 through line 33, plus any write-in adjustments you entered on the dotted line next to Schedule 1 (Form 1040), line 36.
For 2019 and 2020
Enter the total amounts on your 2019 Schedule 1 (Form 1040 or 1040-SR), from line 10 to line 20, plus any write-in adjustments you entered on the dotted line next to Schedule 1 (Form 1040 or 1040-SR), line 22.
For later years
Visit the official website of IRS to see if the line references above for 2019 have changed.
Subtract Line 4 from Line 3 and then enter your computation.
If the result shows more than $80,000 ($160,000 if married filing jointly), then you are not qualified to take the deduction for tuition and fees.
If you are filing a Form 2555, 2555-EZ, or 4563, or you’re excluding income from Puerto Rico, see the Effect of the Amount of Your Income on the Amount of Your Deduction in Pub. 970 to provide the appropriate amount to enter on line 5.
Tuition and Fees Deduction
Mark YES if the amount on Line 5 is more than $65,000 ($130,000 if married
filing jointly). Then, enter the smaller amount of line 2, or $2,000.
Otherwise, mark NO. Then, enter the smaller amount of Line 2, or $4,000.
Also include the amount on line 21 of the 2019 and 2020 Schedule 1 (Form 1040 or 1040-SR) or line 34 of the 2018 Schedule 1 (Form 1040).
What do I need to know?
Be informed that the qualified education expenses are amounts paid in the current year for tuition and fees, which are also a requirement for the student’s enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution with at least one course.
Qualified institutions or programs accredit the deductions for tuition and fees. These are institutes of higher learning for students who have earned a GED or high school diploma before enrolling in courses.
The required fees include the amounts for books, supplies, and other equipment that are used in the field of study, regardless if payments were in cash, check, credit or debit card, or borrowed funds. This only happens when it is required to pay as a provision of enrollment or attendance.
Qualified education expenses include nonacademic fees, such as student activity fees, athletic fees, or other expenses unrelated to the academic course of instruction, only if the fee must be paid to the institution as a condition of enrollment or attendance. Personal expenses are not considered for the educational deduction for tuition and fees, however.
Here are non-qualified education expenses in the following:
Personal expenses. These are room and board, insurance, medical expenses including student health fees, transportation, and other similar personal, living, or family expenses.
Courses. Courses that involve sports, games, or hobbies, or noncredit course, except such course or other programs that are part of the student’s degree or a requirement for acquiring or improving a student’s skills.
Qualified education expenses do not include any expenses for which you take any other deduction, such as on Schedule A or Schedule C.