Caution: The deduction for tuition and fees expired at the end of 2011, and although an extension of the deduction to 2012 is expected, Congress had not yet passed the extension legislation when this book went to press. The following text assumes that there will be an extension, making the deduction available on 2012 returns. See the e-Supplement at jklasser.com for an update.
Depending on your income, you may be able to deduct up to $2,000 or $4,000 of qualifying higher education tuition and fees paid during 2012 on your 2012 return. The deduction is figured on Form 8917 and claimed directly from gross income on Form 1040, whether or not you itemize, or on Form 1040A.
You may not claim the deduction for expenses of a dependent for whom an American Opportunity credit or Lifetime Learning credit is claimed, even if the credit is claimed by someone else. You may not claim the credit for some of an eligible student’s expenses and the deduction for the balance. If you qualify for both, you must choose between the credit and the deduction. Generally, a credit provides a larger tax savings than a deduction, but if you would be allowed only a partial credit because of the income-based phaseout (33.8, 33.9), you may be able to obtain a larger tax benefit from the tuition and fees deduction.
If you are single, head of household, or a qualifying widow(er), your maximum tuition and fees deduction is $4,000 if your 2012 modified ...