One of the Higher Education Opportunity Act’s (HEOA) required disclosures is to share federal tax educational credit information with students. The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 created several new tax benefits for families to assist with college expenses. We encourage the tax filer to consult a qualified tax adviser, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Web site or by calling 800.829.1040. The IRS publication 970 “Tax Benefits for Education” an informational overview of these higher education tax incentives is available online.
The American Opportunity Tax Credit, which was to expire at the end of 2012, was extended through December 2017 by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. The American Opportunity Tax Credit modifies the existing Hope Credit. The AOTC makes the Hope Credit available to a broader range of taxpayers, including many with higher incomes and those who owe no tax. It also adds required course materials to the list of qualifying expenses and allows the credit to be claimed for four post-secondary education years instead of two. Many of those eligible will qualify for the maximum annual credit of $2,500 per student.