Who should take the educational tax breaks, me or my child?
That’s a great question! The answer is: It depends.The first question should be: Is the student a dependent? If you claim the student as a dependent, you should take the credits and deductions. That may include The American Opportunity Tax Credit, Lifetime Learning Credit or the Tuition and Fees Deduction. Only one filer can claim these deductions, so if your student is a dependent on someone else’s return, the student doesn’t qualify for these breaks.
Most students do not even make enough money to owe taxes, in which case it is usually advantageous for the parent to take the tax breaks.
So when should the student take the Tax Breaks?
If the student is no longer a dependent, is married or no longer relies on their parent for support, then it’s a clear cut case where they should take the tax breaks.
Have questions about education-related tax breaks and other dependent deductions? Contact Zinner’s Tax Team.