IRS Form 8863
American opportunity and Lifetime Learning Credits
IRS Form 8863 is for education credits. Use the IRS form 8863 instructions to see if you are eligible or not. There is also a tuition and fees deduction on your taxes, and you can’t use that and IRS form 8863 for the same student in the same year.
The other constraint on this form, which is also called the Education Credits form. The full name for IRS form 8863 is Education Credits (American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning Credits) and it’s available here.
For example, you cannot take the American opportunity credit portion for more than 4 tax years for the same student.
You also cannot take the American Opportunity and the Lifetime Learning credits for the same student in the same year.
The school must be an eligible postsecondary educational institution. The expenses must be qualified expenses.
There are refundable credits and nonrefundable credits. The refundable type can give you back money. A nonrefundable credit will reduce your tax but nothing is refunded to you.
You can claim tuition, enrollment fees, and things you need for the course that are required, like books and equipment (materials are eligible under the Lifetime Learning Credit only, not the American Opportunity Credit).