The Hope Scholarship is a tax credit for eligible first- or second-year undergraduates or their parents; it is for qualified educational expenses paid on or after January 1, 1998. For 2009 and 2010 only, the Hope Scholarship tax credit has been modified with expanded eligibility criteria and a larger claimable credit (see the American Opportunity Tax Credit, below). The Lifetime Learning Credit is for eligible students who are beyond their second year of college or their parents; it is for qualified educational expenses paid on or after July 1, 1998.
To take advantage of the tax credits, taxpayers must submit IRS form 8863, Education Credits (Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits), with their federal tax returns to the IRS The University of Nevada’s Student Cashier’s Office will supply students with Form 1098-T which lists all dollar information relating to the provisions of the Taxpayer Relief Act. Form 1098-T also shows the student’s information (name, Social Security number, etc.) that the University provides to the IRS. For more information about the tax credits and these forms, visit the following websites:
IRS toll-free telephone number: 1-800-829-1040
Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, more families will be able to claim a larger tax credit for educational expenses in 2009 and 2010. The new credit, known as the American Opportunity Tax Credit, modifies the Hope Scholarship tax credit (see below) for two years. It allows eligible taxpayers to claim up to $2,500 per year on their 2009 and 2010 tax returns.
The American Opportunity Tax Credit also expands eligibility for the higher education tax credit. Families with incomes up to $80,000 ($160,000 for joint filers) will qualify. In addition, families may claim the credit for students who are enrolled in their first four years of college (instead of just their first two years). And for the first time, books and course materials will be considered eligible expenses. For more information, see the IRS website.