Monday, August 3, 2009

Tax credits for seminary education

Yes, they do exist! But your financial aid office may not tell you about them, so I'll be your bff and give you the scoop:

529 College Savings Plan (credit on your state taxes due) -

Your state has one of these, but they might vary on the details, depending on where you live. My husband called on this and found out we can funnel our seminary tuition through this account, wait 10 days, then pay the seminary. When we do, we will receive a 20% tax credit on our Indiana state tax bill next year, up to $1,000. Oh, and there's no account fee in Indiana. Check out this link.

Lifetime Learning Credit (credit on your federal taxes due) -

I'm quoting from this website:
What is the tax benefit of the lifetime learning credit. For the tax year, you may be able to claim a lifetime learning credit of up to $2,000 ($4,000 for students in Midwestern disaster areas) for qualified education expenses paid for all students enrolled in eligible educational institutions. There is no limit on the number of years the lifetime learning credit can be claimed for each student.

A tax credit reduces the amount of income tax you may have to pay. Unlike a deduction, which reduces the amount of income subject to tax, a credit directly reduces the tax itself. The lifetime learning credit is a nonrefundable credit. This means that it can reduce your tax to zero, but if the credit is more than your tax the excess will not be refunded to you.

The lifetime learning credit you are allowed may be limited by the amount of your income and the amount of your tax.

Learn more by visiting yourself--watch how much you earn, that will effect whether or not this applies to you. $2,000 a year, per year in seminary, though--wow, that's a significant help. I don't know if you can take out loans and still get the federal credit. That's beyond me. But hopefully this will give you a start on your research--it's the IRS, so it's a teensy bit confusing, but worth the hassle.

Here's to cash-credit savings on next year's tax bill, making seminary more affordable for all!

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