Lifetime Learning Credit

Deducting Graduate School Expenses When You’re A Student

For full-time students attending graduate school, tuition and costs are exorbitantly high. It’s often difficult to maintain studies and still work to help defer some of the costs. For those who have not yet entered the professional workplace, is it possible to obtain any tax benefits for graduate school expenses? Is tuition for law or graduate school a deductible educational expense?

Deducting Graduate School Expenses When You’re Already Employed

Graduate students may deduct the costs of tuition and other fees under most circumstances. But what if an individual decides to go back to school after he or she has already entered the workforce, what, if any, tuition, costs, and fees are deductible?

Taxpayers may deduct the costs of qualifying work-related education as a business expense when the education leads to a degree, but only if at least one of the following two tests is met:

  • The education is required by an employer or by law to maintain present salary, status or employment. The required education must serve a bona fide business purpose of a taxpayer’s employer.

Tax Benefits For Education Part 1

This is the first part of our multi-part blog on tax benefits for education. Any present or former (or future) student should utilize the knowledge, experience and expertise of the tax professionals at the Thorgood Law Firm to ensure that they take full advantage all the credits and deductions that the law allows for students of higher education.

Tax credits, deductions and savings plans offer taxpayers ways to reduce their expenses for higher education.

  • A tax credit may reduce the amount of potential income tax.
  • A deduction reduces the amount of income that is subject to tax, thus reducing the amount of tax paid.


If you or a loved one like a spouse or child is enrolling in college in the near future, remember that there are tax credits which may reduce your tax bill. Before reviewing these credits, it is important to note that you can claim only one type of education credit per student on your tax return each year. If more than one student qualifies for a credit in the same year, you can claim a different credit for each student.