The taxation system in America can help you to avoid extra payments in some spheres, for example, education, health care. This form allows you to claim deductions for educational payments and do not overpay taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). IRS Form 8917 is a paper that confirms the legality of requested deductions and clarifies the payments for the educational process of your dependent. However, there are some exceptions when you can not ask for deductions for education fees, and we will describe them in this article. Read this report to receive detailed information about this form, understand whether you can complete it or not, and get a step-by-step tutorial on filling it out.
The main condition to getting deductions in this sphere is to have a dependent who is studying in a qualified educational organization. As we know, paid education is expensive in the US, and a lot of people would like to pay smaller amounts for it. Of course, the government does not provide an opportunity to obtain deductions for everyone and introduces some limitations regarding this option.
Make sure your case match the criteria described below:
So, if you satisfy all the factors in this list, you can use IRS Form 8917 to receive a deduction.
Besides, pay attention to this factors that are essential for deduction request:
While filing this form, you should be confident that all expenses you include in it are suitable for the requirements of the IRS. The main rule is that you should add only those costs that were necessary to pay to be enrolled in university. For instance, fees for an educational program, required equipment and supply, extra courses if they are necessary to obtain, and will help during the working period. However, you should not enter these groups of expenses in IRS Form 8917:
Thus form consists of one page, but it is impossible to fill it out without additional forms. Firstly, you should complete your main tax return as you will have to copy some data from it to IRS Form 8917. We will explain to you which particular lines you should refer to and what you should include in this form. Besides, we offer you our building service on our website that will fill out your form without mistakes.
Provide personal data
Write in your name and SSN into boxes on the top of the form. Make sure this data corresponds to information in your tax return.
Fill the table with the full name of the student, his or her social security number, and the amount of adjusted qualified expenses. The first two columns should be filled similarly as this data is written in the tax return. As regards qualified expenses, it is a group of payments that were necessary to pay to the qualified university. It can be a fee for education, purchase of books in the university, and other types of purchases. However, you should not include tax-free charges in this form. Tax-free educational assistance is services that are not taxable, for example, some scholarships, education paid by the employee, education followed by a veterans program, and other programs that are not paid from your gross income.
If you have to fill the form for more than three students, you should fill out an additional form and attach it to the first one. Do not forget to enter “See attached” in line 1 in this case and to include values from the third column into the sum of expenses for all students in line 2.
Sum up qualified expenses for all students introduced before and put the result in line 2.
Describe your total income
Use IRS Form 1040 to copy your total income and enter it in line 3 of this form.
Provide data from IRS Form 1040
You should refer to form 1040 again to complete line 4 of this form. You need to use appropriate lines from another form based on the year when you paid for education.
Enter the result that you have computed in line 4 of Form 8917.
You should subtract the value in line 4 from the value in line 3 and enter the result in line 5. Make sure the result is less than $80,000 for personal tax return and $160,000 for joint tax return. If the number is bigger than these values, you cannot have deductions for educational expenses.
Select amount of deduction
If the result in line 5 is bigger than $65,000 or $130,000 for a joint return, you should put a checkmark in the box “Yes,” then select the number that is bigger among line 2 and $2,000, and write it in line 6.
If what is put in line 5 is smaller than this amount, you should put the biggest value among line 2 or $4,000 in line 6 and check the box “No.”
Do not forget to fill the result from line 6 to line 21 in Schedule 1 IRS Form 1040 (2020 or 2019) or line 34 of the same form (2018).
So, the form is easy to complete, as you may see, and it will not take much time to file it. Do not miss an opportunity to receive a deduction for educational expenses because there is not much paperwork to do.
Remember that you need to file a different form for every tax year, even if the academic period lasted for several years. Also, you should not file this form separately from your tax return — just attach IRS Form 8917 to IRS Form 1040 to confirm the legality of requested deductions.