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Several months ago, we wrote a blog entry entitled Money Matters: A Special Edition on Textbooks & Tax Credits. In this entry, we discussed the American Opportunity Credit, a subsection of the Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits.

That was a while ago and in the meantime and with your studies coming first, you may have lost sight of this important and beneficial bit of legislation. That, coupled with the fact that the deadline for filing taxes with the IRS is a mere two weeks away, is why we want to take a minute to remind you what the credit is all about and how it benefits you and how to take advantage of it. Here’s what you need to know when you file your taxes by April 15:

  • Under the American Opportunity Credit (AOC), students and their families are eligible for up to $2,500 in credits.
  • The credit can be claimed for the first four years of post-secondary education.
  • You can be reimbursed not just for tuition, but also for textbooks and other supplies purchased as course materials. It does not matter whether or not the materials were purchased at the institution where the student is enrolled. That said, if you got your textbooks from a merchant you found through CampusBooks.com, it still counts!

The time-frame that we’re looking at here is calendar year 2009 (the tax year). But the AOC will also be offered in 2010, so keep your receipts for next tax season when you may be eligible again!

–Lena

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