Lifetime Learning - what exactly qualifies?


Q

Question

Am I correct in saying that the education must have been
from an accredited college?

I'm trying to see if pilot training (not an a university,
but a flight school) would qualify. This is for the
instrument rating (rating after private pilot). This would
not be to qualify for a new job (or for an old job either).

I've read that the answer is no, but then what is the
purpose of the "lifetime" learning credit if not to take
classes here and there througout your lifetime?
 
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J

John H. Fisher

Am I correct in saying that the education must have been
from an accredited college?

I'm trying to see if pilot training (not an a university,
but a flight school) would qualify. This is for the
instrument rating (rating after private pilot). This would
not be to qualify for a new job (or for an old job either).

I've read that the answer is no, but then what is the
purpose of the "lifetime" learning credit if not to take
classes here and there througout your lifetime?
Generally, you can claim the lifetime learning credit if all
three of the following requirements are met.

You pay qualified tuition and related expenses of higher
education. You pay the tuition and related expenses for an
eligible student. The eligible student is either yourself,
your spouse, or a dependent for who you claim an exemption
on your tax return.

The lifetime learning credit is based on qualified tuition
and related expenses you pay for yourself, your spouse, or a
dependent for who you can claim an exemption on your tax
return. Generally, the credit is allowed for qualified
tuition and related expenses paid in 2003 for an academic
period beginning in 2003 or in the first 3 months of 2004.

For purposes of the lifetime learning credit, an eligible
student is a student who is enrolled in one or more courses
at an eligible educational institution.

An eligible educational institution is an college,
university, vocational school, or other postsecondary
educational institution eligible to participate in a student
aid program administered by the 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.

You cannot claim the lifetime learning credit if any of the
following apply.

Your filing status is married filing separately. You are
listed as a dependent in the Exemptions section on another
person's tax return (such as your parent's). See Who Can
Claim a Dependent's Expenses, later.

Your modified adjusted gross income is $51,000 or more
($103,000 or more in the case of a joint return). Modified
adjusted gross income is explained later under Does the
Amount of Your Income Affect the Amount of Your Credit. You
(or your spouse) were a nonresident alien for any part of
2003 and the nonresident alien did not elect to be treated
as a resident for tax purposes. More information on resident
aliens can be found in Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for
Aliens. You claim the Hope credit for the same student in
2003.

"Jack" - John H. Fisher - (e-mail address removed)
Philadelphia, Pa - Atlantic City, NJ - West Wildwood, NJ
My Newsgroups & Boards at: http://members.aol.com/TaxService/index.html

Where Ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise!=:)
 
P

Phil Marti

I've read that the answer is no, but then what is the
purpose of the "lifetime" learning credit if not to take
classes here and there througout your lifetime?
Cynical response: To dupe many unqualified people into
thinking that they've received some benefit.

Other response: The credit is called "lifetime" because
there's no age limit. That doesn't mean that everything
connected with learning something qualifies.

Phil Marti
Clarksburg, MD
 
D

David Woods, EA, ChFC, CLU

Question said:
Am I correct in saying that the education must have been
from an accredited college?

I'm trying to see if pilot training (not an a university,
but a flight school) would qualify. This is for the
instrument rating (rating after private pilot). This would
not be to qualify for a new job (or for an old job either).

I've read that the answer is no, but then what is the
purpose of the "lifetime" learning credit if not to take
classes here and there througout your lifetime?
You have the answer already. Your logic is somewhat flawed
as their is no prohibition on people taking qualified
classes at any point in their lifetime other than being
allowed to take the class. If it's not from an accredited
college allowed to receive federal financial aid, it doesn't
qualify for that credit.
 
B

Barney Byrd

Question said:
I'm trying to see if pilot training (not at a university,
but a flight school) would qualify. This is for the
instrument rating (rating after private pilot). This
would not be to qualify for a new job.

I've read that the answer is no, but then what is the
purpose of the "lifetime" learning credit if not to
take classes here and there througout your lifetime?

From the proposed regulations published in the Federal Register on January
6, 1999:

http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~hopesch/Propregs.htm

"Based on the requirements of section 25A(f)(2), the
proposed regulations provide that an eligible educational
institution means a college, university, vocational school,
or other postsecondary educational institution that: (1) Is
described in section 481 of the Higher Education Act of 1965
(HEA) (20 U.S.C. 1088) as in effect on August 5, 1997
(generally all accredited public, nonprofit, and proprietary
postsecondary institutions); and (2) participates in a
federal student financial aid program under title IV of the
HEA (20 U.S.C. 1070 et seq.) or is certified by the
Department of Education as eligible to participate in such a
program but chooses not to participate."

Barney Byrd
 
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A

A.G. Kalman

Question said:
Am I correct in saying that the education must have been
from an accredited college?

I'm trying to see if pilot training (not an a university,
but a flight school) would qualify. This is for the
instrument rating (rating after private pilot). This would
not be to qualify for a new job (or for an old job either).

I've read that the answer is no, but then what is the
purpose of the "lifetime" learning credit if not to take
classes here and there througout your lifetime?
The LLC is available for courses that allow you to acquire
or improve job skills. The expenditure must be for a
qualified educational expense (generally tuition and certain
related expenses) incurred at a qualified educational
institution. Here's the definition of a qualified school:

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 Department of Education. It
includes virtually all accredited, public, nonprofit, and
proprietary (privately owned profit-making) postsecondary
institutions.

If the flight school participates in the Dept. of Education
student aid program then you may be eligible for the LLC.
The school should be able to tell you if it is an eligible
educational institution.
 
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