Hope Credit vs. The Lifetime Learning Credit

  1. Can someone PRETTY please explain to me in idiot's terms what the difference between the Hope credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit????

    Calling the IRS number (i can hear you laughing NOW lol) was about as helpful as sitting on my fists, and i don't know if it's the fatigue, workload, or the cadiovascular disorder terms burning in my brain, but i CANNOT read the info in the book or the webpage and figure it out!!!

    Thank you.
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   moonbunnie
    i think that the hope credit is only good for the first two years of college, but the lifetime learning credit is good forever. but you can also deduct tuition directly off your income, which is what i do. i think its more beneficial that way.
  4. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    See, from what i gathered, the deduction for the LLC is 20% of the first 10,000. Mine wasn't even 5,000 though. I just can't understand how to fill out the form, or whether i'm filling it out fo the Hope or the LLC. Wonder if a program like Turbo Tax makes things like this easier?
  5. by   moonbunnie
    if you file 1040A, in the adjusted gross income section, you can just write in the amount of tuition you paid with no forms or calculations up to 3000 dollars, and it just comes right off your income...that seems like the easy way to go to me.
  6. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    So i might not even NEED the 8863 form?
  7. by   angelac1978
    We file w/ turbo tax and it makes it MUCH easier. The LLC is 20% of your tuition up to $10,000 so the max credit would be $2000. The Hope Credit can only be used for your first 2 years of college.

    If you use turbo tax, it will ask you questions to determine which credit you are eligible for, if any. It will also determine if it is more advantageous for you to take the Hope or LLC or to take a tuition and fees deduction right off of your income. Also, if you use Turbo Tax, you can fill out the forms, and then print them out for free. You only pay if you decide to file electronically, which we do, because w/ direct deposit, we get our refund within 2 weeks. If you have any more ???s you can PM me, my husband and I have been attending school part time or more for the 5 years we've been married so I am an old pro at these credits by now!

    A
  8. by   twarlik
    Here's a pretty easy to understand explanation of the Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits: http://www.fool.com/taxes/2002/taxes020503.htm

    Turbo Tax makes this sort of thing a BREEZE! I highly recommend picking up a copy.
  9. by   jenrninmi
    Quote from LPN2Be2004
    See, from what i gathered, the deduction for the LLC is 20% of the first 10,000. Mine wasn't even 5,000 though. I just can't understand how to fill out the form, or whether i'm filling it out fo the Hope or the LLC. Wonder if a program like Turbo Tax makes things like this easier?
    Turbotax walks you through the whole thing. It's an awesome program, we've been using it the last three years. There always seems to be a rebate that comes along with the program too so you can get it for next to nothing. I was thinking that we use the Hope credit but we must be using the LLC because we've been in school for more than 2 years. HTH!
    Last edit by JENRN2BMICHIGAN on Feb 25, '04
  10. by   manna
    I second those who said Turbotax is awesome - this is the first year I've used it, and I ended up paying WAY less thru them (used the one on their website, didn't buy the software) then when I'd figured it up myself. All you have to do is punch in numbers, and the program figures out the rest for you.

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