What You Need to Know about AOTC and LLC

More In What You Need to Know about AOTC and LLC

The American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) and the Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC) help with the cost of higher education by reducing the taxpayer's income tax liability dollar-for-dollar on their tax return for qualified education expenses paid

Learn which education credit helps you the most by reviewing Tax Benefits for Education: Information Center and Compare Education Credits.

Our Interactive Tax Assistant helps you determine if you are eligible for education credits and deductions.

There are several differences and some similarities between the AOTC and the LLC. You can claim both benefits on the same return but not for the same student or the same qualified expenses. See Education Benefits -- No Double Benefits Allowed for more information on claiming one or more education benefits.

Find the answers to the most common questions asked by reviewing Education Credits: Questions and Answers.

Here's what colleges, universities, trade and technical schools, educational organizations, student organizations, and high schools need to know:

IRS has products to help you inform students and parents about the availability of tax benefits for education:

Here's what preparers of the Forms 1098-T need to know:

It's important to provide an accurate and timely Form 1098-T PDF, Tuition Statement, to help students offset the cost of higher education and avoid costly errors with the IRS. See the Instructions for Form 1098-E and Form 1098-T PDF for more information.

Here's what tax return preparers need to know:


  • Review Form 1098-T PDF -- Did the student attend at least half time for a full academic period? Is the 'graduate student' box checked? For what academic period are the amounts reported? Remember the amount in Box 1 on Form 1098-T may differ from the amount your client can use to compute a credit on this year's tax return. Generally, students receive a Form 1098-T PDF, Tuition Statement, from their school by January 31. This statement will help you figure the credit.




  • Remember: no double benefits are allowed -- your client can claim only one tax benefit for a student and for a particular tax year. Ask where the education funds came from, such as a tax-free scholarship or grant, the Department of Veteran's Affairs, the tax-free portion of a Coverdell education savings account or a qualified tuition program. If your client’s claim for the AOTC was disallowed in a prior tax year, Form 8862 PDF will need to be filed before claiming the credit in future tax years.

         See What to Do if We Deny Your Claim for a Credit



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Related Forms and Publications


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