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02-26-2018 08:53 PM
I completed my Masters degree coursework in December 2016, and was not enrolled in any classes in 2017, and due to several circumstances, I opted not to complete my comprehensive final and graduate until May 2017. Can I claim a credit for the graduation fee which I payed in 2017, even without class enrollment? I don't have a 2017 1098-T.
Thanks in advance for any guidance.
03-08-2018 02:32 PM
To claim an education credit or tuition and fees deduction, you must pay Qualified Education Expenses during the year.
According to the IRS’ instruction on pub 970 - Tax Benefits for Education: “For purposes of the lifetime learning credit, qualified education expenses are tuition and certain related expenses required for enrollment in a course at an eligible educational institution. Student activity fees and expenses for course-related books, supplies, and equipment are included in qualified education expenses only if the fees and expenses must be paid to the institution for enrollment or attendance.”
For purpose of tuition and fees deduction, generally, qualified education expenses are amounts paid in 2017 for tuition and fees required for the student’s enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution. Required fees include amounts for books, supplies, and equipment used in a course of study if required to be paid to the institution as a condition of enrollment or attendance.
If the graduation fee is not an expense required for enrollment or attendance, then you cannot claim it as credit or deduction on your tax return.
Hope this help you out.
Tax Research Specialist.
The Tax Institute at H&R Block.