Internal Revenue Service United States Department of the Treasury
Level Basic Advanced Military International

Education Credits

No Double Benefits

Choose the Best Option

Taxpayers have several options for using education expenses to reduce taxes:

  • American opportunity credit or lifetime learning credit
  • Itemizing on Form 1040, Schedule A (employee-related expenses only)
  • Reporting as business expenses on Form 1040, Schedules C and C-EZ

Generally, taxpayers will benefit the most from claiming the education credits. However, you should compute any of the other benefits for which taxpayers are eligible to determine which gives them the lowest tax. Do not claim multiple benefits for the same education expense; use the benefit most advantageous to the taxpayer.

Refer to the Volunteer Resource Guide, Education Benefits tab, References – Highlights of Education Tax Benefits for a comparison chart of some of the tax benefits for education.

Collage: Form 8863, Schedule C-EZ, and Schedule A.
Form 1040
Schedule C-EZ
Form 8863

Form 1040, Schedule A

Schedule C-EZ

Form 8863