Nursing Education Expenses

Today TaxMama hears from Hayley in Indiana who made a bold move. “I quit my job last October to go back to school.  My school is through our hospital (an Allied Health Program) but is not a part of the eligible educational institution.( is not signed up with the gov to receive fed funding.)  The total bill for school was $4,000. $1,150 of this I have paid,  plus another $500+ in books, uniforms etc.  How can I apply this to my taxes?  It says that the hope credits etc. are for eligible educational institutions.”

Hi Hayley,

I called my buddy at IRS.  He says the law is pretty clear:
Eligible educational institution.   An eligible educational institution is any college, university, vocational school, or other postsecondary educational institution eligible to participate in a student aid program administered by the U.S. Department of Education. It includes virtually all accredited public, nonprofit, and proprietary (privately owned profit-making) postsecondary institutions. The educational institution should be able to tell you if it is an eligible educational institution.
Check with the hospital. Generally, hospitals are associated with colleges or schools that are accredited. I cannot imagine that a nursing program is not accredited. How could you get licensed?
Please, check again. There is probably some connection to an eligible institution. If not, sorry, you can’t use the deduction. So bug them about getting accredited THIS year! 
Incidentally, you probably qualify to have your taxes prepared for free. Instead of doing it yourself, see if you can find a local VITA site or Tax-Aide site and they can probably see if you qualify for the credits.
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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