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The Short Answer

Paying for College? 2 Ways to Lower Your Taxes

The American Opportunity Tax Credit or the Lifetime Learning Credit: Which should you take?

Question: Which is better, the American Opportunity Tax Credit or the Lifetime Learning Credit? They are both on the same IRS form, and I'm not sure which one I should take.

Answer: Because you can't take both of them for the same dependent student in the same tax year, you'll need to choose. (A third education-related tax benefit, the above-the-line tuition and fees deduction, was not renewed for the 2018 tax year.)