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Income Tax Credits and Deductions

    As a result of legislation passed in Congress and signed by the President in 2006, Taft Law School students may now be entitled to special income tax benefits. No unaccredited college or university can provide these special benefits to its students.

    The Taft University System filed an application with the Department of Education on the effective date of the new law and was approved late in 2006. The law requires that an institution be accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the Department of Education such as DETC and meet certain other requirements before it can be approved. 

    The approval means that students may qualify for a Lifetime Learning Credit on their federal income tax return equal to 20% of their qualified education expenses. As an example, if a student paid $7,000 in tuition, this could reduce the student’s tax liability (or increase their tax refund) by as much as $1,400 per year for each year of their enrollment. For most taxpayers, they can claim the full credit if their adjusted gross income on a joint return is less than $122,000 ($61,000 if they file a single return). 

    Some education expenses may also qualify as a business deduction for work-related education pursuant to Section 162 of the Internal Revenue Code. However, an education which qualifies an individual for a new trade or business will not be deductible under Section 162. This means that, notwithstanding the incorrect information posted on the websites of certain other distance learning law schools, tuition paid for any law school program which qualifies a graduate for any bar examination will NEVER be deductible under Section 162. This is true even if the student never intends to take a bar examination or practice law. (Law school tuition is however eligible for the special tax credits/deductions noted above.)

    It is recommended that applicants consult with their tax advisor or read IRS Publication 970 (Tax Benefits for Education) to determine how these credits or deductions might benefit them individually. 

    There is no charge for the preparation of the IRS Form 1098-T which is necessary to claim the tax credits or deductions. 

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