Hope Scholarship and Lifetime Learning Tax Credits


Taxpayers may be eligible to claim a nonrefundable Hope Scholarship or Lifetime Learning Tax Credit to help them pay for postsecondary education for themselves and/or their dependent children. These tax credits can reduce the amount of federal income tax.

Hope Scholarship Tax Credit. This tax credit is available to a taxpayer for qualified tuition and related expenses. It is available to parents of dependent students or to students who are not claimed as dependents on their parents’ federal tax return. A student must enroll at least half time during at least one academic period during the tax year (January 1, 2004 - December 31, 2004). The Hope credit can be claimed only for two tax years and applies only to the first two years of postsecondary education. The tax credit is equal to all of the first $1,000 of tuition and fees (less scholarships, grants, and tax-free tuition benefits) and half of the next $1,000 of tuition and fees. The maximum credit is $1,500. A student cannot have a drug felony conviction in a year that the credit applies.

Lifetime Learning Tax Credit. This credit applies to tuition and fees for undergraduate, graduate, and continuing-education course work taken part time to improve or upgrade job skills. A family can claim a credit equal to 20 percent of $5,000 of eligible educational expenses paid after June 30, 1998, and prior to January 1, 2003, and up to 20% of $10,000 of eligible expenses paid after January 1, 2003. The maximum benefit is $1,000 each tax year. Eligible education expenses are reduced by scholarships, grants, and other tax-free tuition benefits.

(Note: For both programs the credit is phased out for joint filers adjusted for inflation. See the 2003 IRS Form 8863 for the revised A61 limits.)

What You Need to Do:

  1. For each tax year, keep copies of documents related to payment of qualified tuition and fees, such as canceled checks or credit card statements, financial aid awards, scholarships received, and employer-paid tuition benefits.

  2. Obtain relevant IRS forms and documents, such as IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Higher Education. Telephone: 1-800-829-3676 for forms and 1-800-829-1040 for information.

  3. Visit the IRS Web site at www.irs.ustreas.gov/hot/not97-601.html or NVCC’s Web site at http://www.nvcc.edu/sis/web/default.htm for more information.

  4. For College reporting to the IRS, make sure that Admissions and Records has an accurate social security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) and address for you and any individual who can claim you as a dependent on the federal tax return.

  5. Send the Hope Scholarship and Lifetime Learning Tax Credit Form in this schedule, to the Admissions and Records Office at any campus.


Northern Virginia Community College 2004
This page was last updated on March 25, 2004 11:11 AM
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