Once upon a time, the American Opportunity Tax Credit was a pretty simple proposition: Families could get a $2,500 annual tax credit for $4,000 of out-of-pocket college tuition expenses for their dependent student, as long as their income was below the IRS threshold for the credit. However, tax law changes over the past few years have created some opportunities for creative claiming strategies, opening the tax credit up to a larger population.
Two pieces of legislation that impact college were approved towards the end of 2019. Each has some components that may be of interest.
Form 1098-T is a tuition statement that colleges and universities are required to provide. The 1098-T shows “payments received for qualified tuition and related expenses” and scholarships received, provided they either came from the college or were disbursed directly to the college. Form 1098-T is used for two purposes: To verify tuition expenses for taxpayers claiming the AOTC or LLC….
A recent Sallie Mae study shows that on average, parents begin saving for college when their child is 7 years old. This makes sense: it’s right around when a child transitions from preschool or full-time daycare to full-time school, so for many families it’s the first time that they have any financial breathing room.
The follow-up question to the Oregon College Savings Plan tax change is: Am I better off with the 2020 tax benefit or the 2019 one? The answer, as is so often the case, is “it depends.”