You may qualify to claim a lifetime learning tax credit of up to $2,000 each year for qualified higher educational expenses for yourself, your spouse, or a dependent if your family's modified adjusted gross income falls within the annual limits that Congress sets. Those amounts tend to increase slightly each year.
The course work must be one or more courses but doesn't have to be part of a degree- or certificate-granting program, though the tax credit can be used for undergraduate, postgraduate, or professional studies.
Even if you are paying for more than one person's education, you can take only one lifetime learning credit per year.
If you claim the credit while you're taking withdrawals from tax-free college savings plans such as a Section 529 plan or an education savings account (ESA), you'll have to plan carefully. Your withdrawals will lose their qualified status and be subject to tax and penalty if you use them to pay for the same expenses for which you claim the tax credit.
You can't take the credit, though, if you claim a tuition and fees deduction in calculating your adjusted gross income or deduct the amount as a business expense.
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- Early withdrawal, Education savings account (ESA), Hope scholarship credit, Investment horizon, Tax credit, Tax exempt
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