In my last article, I discussed the above-the-line "education deduction" available for many individual taxpayers for qualified tuition and related expenses. Taxpayers eligible to take the education deduction often will also be eligible to take either the Hope Scholarship or Lifetime Learning Credits for the same expenses.

However, the education deduction cannot be taken in the same tax year for qualified tuition and related expenses for the same student, even if total expenses are high enough so that different expenses can be used to calculate the deduction and the credit. In some situations, a taxpayer may only be eligible to take the education deduction because of the higher modified adjusted gross income limits that apply in determining eligibility for the deduction, compared to the eligibility limits that apply for the credits.

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