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Do you get money back in taxes for law school tuition?

Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:50 pm
by HenryA
Haven't done my taxes yet, but was wondering if you get any money back in taxes for graduate school tuition?

Re: Do you get money back in taxes for law school tuition?

Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:00 pm
by Richie Tenenbaum
HenryA wrote:Haven't done my taxes yet, but was wondering if you get any money back in taxes for graduate school tuition?


This is not legal advice...but no, you cannot.

ETA: Listen to the people ITT who actually enjoyed FIT and retained some of it (AKA not me on either count).

Re: Do you get money back in taxes for law school tuition?

Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:01 pm
by Kikero
The tuition should still cancel out the tax owed on any scholarships though, right?

Re: Do you get money back in taxes for law school tuition?

Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:02 pm
by kalvano
Richie Tenenbaum wrote:
HenryA wrote:Haven't done my taxes yet, but was wondering if you get any money back in taxes for graduate school tuition?


This is not legal advice...but no, you cannot.


I get a tuition statement every year, as does my wife. It does something with the taxes and helps out, but damn if I know what.

Re: Do you get money back in taxes for law school tuition?

Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:03 pm
by homestyle28

Re: Do you get money back in taxes for law school tuition?

Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:06 pm
by homestyle28
homestyle28 wrote:http://lmgtfy.com/?q=education+tax+credits


short answer:
tax credits for tuition & tax deduction for interest on student loans

Re: Do you get money back in taxes for law school tuition?

Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:24 pm
by temperance
yes - lifetime learning credit of $2000 back (even if you took it all out in loans). I'm assuming you haven't started paying interest yet, which would be a different deduction.

Re: Do you get money back in taxes for law school tuition?

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:02 am
by Morgan12Oak
If only. This works the other way too with scholarships. If any of you get stipends that is taxable income that has to be reported and taxes paid on it.

Re: Do you get money back in taxes for law school tuition?

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:25 am
by legends159
Morgan12Oak wrote:If only. This works the other way too with scholarships. If any of you get stipends that is taxable income that has to be reported and taxes paid on it.


no. And yes you get the $2K education credit and any payments you have made toward interest. Pay your interest if you are expecting income during the taxable year b/c you can get a credit for it.

Taxable Scholarships and Fellowships

If you received a scholarship or fellowship, all or part of it may be taxable, even if you did not receive a Form W-2. Generally, the entire amount is taxable if you are not a candidate for a degree.

If you are a candidate for a degree, you generally can exclude from income that part of the grant used for:

Tuition and fees required for enrollment or attendance, or
Fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for your courses.

You cannot exclude from income any part of the grant used for other purposes, such as room and board.

A scholarship generally is an amount paid for the benefit of a student at an educational institution to aid in the pursuit of studies. The student may be in either a graduate or an undergraduate program.

A fellowship grant generally is an amount paid for the benefit of an individual to aid in the pursuit of study or research.

Example 1
Tammy Graves receives a $6,000 fellowship grant that is not designated for any specific use. Tammy is a degree candidate. She spends $5,500 for tuition and $500 for her personal expenses. Tammy is required to include $500 in income.

Example 2
Ursula Harris, a degree candidate, receives a $2,000 scholarship, with $1,000 specifically designated for tuition and $1,000 specifically designated for living expenses. Her tuition is $1,600. She may exclude $1,000 from income, but the other $1,000 designated for living expenses is taxable and must be included in income.

http://www.irs.gov/individuals/students ... 74,00.html

Re: Do you get money back in taxes for law school tuition?

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:49 am
by ringo
legends159 wrote:no. And yes you get the $2K education credit and any payments you have made toward interest. Pay your interest if you are expecting income during the taxable year b/c you can get a credit deduction for it.


Since the lifetime learning credit is nonrefundable, the answer to OP's question is NO unless he worked enough during the year to have any tax liability (earned more than $9,500 assuming he's single and cannot be claimed as a dependent).

Re: Do you get money back in taxes for law school tuition?

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:22 am
by TTH
Lifetime Learning Credit is credited (pun) for married law student freeloading on wife. :)

I wish I could graduate in December so as to avoid any tuition expenses in 2013, then pay for BarBri in 2013 and take the credit for that.

Re: Do you get money back in taxes for law school tuition?

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:51 am
by Morgan12Oak
legends159 wrote:no. And yes you get the $2K education credit and any payments you have made toward interest. Pay your interest if you are expecting income during the taxable year b/c you can get a credit for it.


Stipend's generally are meant to cover more than fees, books, and mandatory supplies required for courses and some encompass room and board. Therefore, the taxable portion is still there. The IRS takes a very strict approach when it comes to this and the fees, books, supplies, and equipment have to actually be required and not just heavily recommended. I don't know why you are just dismissing this saying "no" when the IRS regs. that you pointed to support my assertion to an extent. So if you get a stipend, probably only the first 3 thousand or so is non-taxable, the rest is taxable.

Re: Do you get money back in taxes for law school tuition?

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:37 pm
by dingbat
School loan interest deduction is maxed out at $2500)

Re: Do you get money back in taxes for law school tuition?

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:10 pm
by legends159
Morgan12Oak wrote:
legends159 wrote:no. And yes you get the $2K education credit and any payments you have made toward interest. Pay your interest if you are expecting income during the taxable year b/c you can get a credit for it.


Stipend's generally are meant to cover more than fees, books, and mandatory supplies required for courses and some encompass room and board. Therefore, the taxable portion is still there. The IRS takes a very strict approach when it comes to this and the fees, books, supplies, and equipment have to actually be required and not just heavily recommended. I don't know why you are just dismissing this saying "no" when the IRS regs. that you pointed to support my assertion to an extent. So if you get a stipend, probably only the first 3 thousand or so is non-taxable, the rest is taxable.


Sorry. I assume when you said stipend and scholarship in the same post you were referring to the same thing, not that "stipend" is strictly to cover cost of living. Yes, the portion used for room and board is taxable.

Re: Do you get money back in taxes for law school tuition?

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:37 pm
by Julio_El_Chavo
You must have a spouse or something to not be taking out the standard deduction.

Re: Do you get money back in taxes for law school tuition?

Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:01 pm
by HWS08
n/m

Re: Do you get money back in taxes for law school tuition?

Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:15 pm
by bdubs
HWS08 wrote:The OP says "get back money," I'm not sure if you mean a refundable credit (so you'd get some money even if your tax liability is $0), a normal credit, or a deduction.



Lifetime Learning is not refundable. The American Opportunity credit is, but it's only for undergrad. If you're a 1L or a 3L, you probably have some taxable income so you can use the Lifetime Learning credit. It's unlikely that you will qualify for any of the tax breaks if you graduate and work in biglaw.

Re: Do you get money back in taxes for law school tuition?

Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:15 pm
by dixiecupdrinking
How do you figure only the first $3,000 of a "stipend" is not taxable? Do you mean "stipend" to refer only to grants over and above tuition?

Re: Do you get money back in taxes for law school tuition?

Posted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:15 pm
by HWS08
bdubs wrote:
HWS08 wrote:The OP says "get back money," I'm not sure if you mean a refundable credit (so you'd get some money even if your tax liability is $0), a normal credit, or a deduction.



Lifetime Learning is not refundable. The American Opportunity credit is, but it's only for undergrad. If you're a 1L or a 3L, you probably have some taxable income so you can use the Lifetime Learning credit. It's unlikely that you will qualify for any of the tax breaks if you graduate and work in biglaw.


Oops, sorry if my post wasn't clear. I meant that my tax liability was lower than what I had already paid in while I was working because of the American Opportunity credit, so I got a larger refund and it helped me in that sense. Not that I got more money back than I paid in taxes or anything like that.

Re: Do you get money back in taxes for law school tuition?

Posted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:37 pm
by gdane
I got like $900 extra when I inputed my fall 2011 tuition minus all applicable aid and scholarships.

So, yea I think you get money back in taxes for law school tuition.