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Tax Benefits | Military Scholarships and Tuition Benefits

Even with the benefit of military TA (Tuition Assistance) and scholarships provided by the Post-9/11 GI Bill® and otherwise, the cost of education can be overwhelming. One way to alleviate these costs is through tax deductions, which can be taken advantage of by those who attend college. Active duty soldiers, veterans and military spouses and family members may be eligible for up to $4,000 in deductions for education expenses. Abraham Lincoln University is an eligible post-secondary institution in terms of these deduction benefits.

The education tax deduction is taken as an adjustment to income, meaning it can be claimed even if you do not itemize deductions on Schedule A. Those who pay qualified education expenses of higher education for an eligible student (either the soldier him or herself, a spouse, or a dependent) should be able to take the deduction. Exceptions occur when spouses file separately, when modified adjusted gross income is more than $80,000 ($160,000 if filing jointly), or if the person in question was a nonresident alien for any part of the year.

Deduction Limits and Qualifications

If MAGI is not more than $65,000 ($130,000 if filing jointly with a spouse) the maximum deduction is $4,000. MAGI higher than this but lower than $80,000 results in a maximum deduction of $2,000.

Tuition and fees required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible post-secondary educational institution like Abraham Lincoln University may be deducted, but personal living and family expenses, such as room and board, may not be deducted.

GI Bill® and military tuition assistance is tax-free and may not be deducted. Only expenses above and beyond the benefits provided through these programs may be deducted.

Tuition and fees deductions may be claimed by completing Form 8917, which is submitted along with Form 1040 or Form 1040A. Enter the deduction on Form 1040, line 34, or Form 1040A, line 19.

These deductions do not directly reduce taxes; instead, they allow you to use your adjusted gross income.

For more detailed information on how active duty Armed Forces personnel can take advantage of these deductions, visit Military.com.


“GI Bill®” is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

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