Laptop for College

Today TaxMama® hears from Jenni in the TaxQuips Forum who has an amazing job. “I took a job at a university that offers free tuition for my family. The American Opportunity Credit can be used for tuition, books, fees and required materials. We have used the credit for books, fees and a laptop, which is required by our university. My son would like to get a better laptop. We took the tax credit last year for the laptop. Can we purchase a new laptop this year and use it for the tax credit again this year? 

 Ask TaxMama 

Hi Jenni, 

That’s a good question. 

And I cannot think of a single reason why you could not do that. 

As long as it is for him and not for the family.  

But let’s bring this up as a Tax Quip and see if anyone disagrees with me, OK?

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about education credits and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At

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One thought on “Laptop for College

  1. Hristo Ivanov says:

    Hi Jenny,

    Nice question indeed. The IRS allows the credit for all tuition, fees, books and required supplies and equipment. The stress is on “REQUIRED”, so in order to be a qualifying expense, no matter if a book or equipment, it must be required by the University for the education of the qualifying student. There is a general understanding that the equipment (i.e. laptop) should be required for all students within the same class or course of study. In addition no credit is granted when the expenses are associated to sports, games, hobbies and non-credit classes. Recently the IRS listed Laptops under QTP allowed purchases (IRC 529 plans), so assuming that the University actually claims the Laptop is a must for all students, I also believe it will be allowed for the purposes of the American Opportunity Credit.

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