Deducting Books

Today TaxMama hears from Granny in Georgia who asks.
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“I am preparing my granddaughter’s tax return. She is a married student and qualifies for the Hope credit.
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She received a 1098-T from the school. She has been told by others that in addition to this amount she can deduct the cost of her books and her laptop.
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I use Turbo Tax Deluxe. When I entered the information from the 1098-T, this is the amount entered automatically on Form 8863, so I don’t see any way to deduct cost of her books or laptop. Is the amount on the 1098-T the only credit she can get?”

Hi Granni,

You should be able to go to the Form 8863 and enter additional costs of she paid for other classes elsewhere. If the software won’t let you, contact TurboTax for help.
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But, here’s what IRS says about the laptop – and even the books – in Publication 970 .

If the books and laptop (spelled supplies and equipment) are purchased from the school as a condition of enrollment or attendance, they may be used towards the Hope Credit.
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However, book, even if bought from the school’s student store are generally not qualified expenses since they can be obtained elsewhere.


You can’t deduct books? And I haven’t noticed this before?

Who writes these idiot laws?

Remember, you’ll find answers to questions about credits and all kinds of tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At

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