Questions & Answers

What is the college tuition credit or itemized deduction?

The college tuition credit is a tax credit allowed for the qualified college tuition expenses paid for an eligible student. The credit is available to full-year New York State residents only. If the credit exceeds your tax for the tax year, the excess credit will be refunded, without interest. The credit is limited to $400 per eligible student.

The college tuition itemized deduction may offer you a greater tax savings if you itemized your deductions on your New York return. The maximum deduction is $10,000 for each eligible student. Use the worksheets in these instructions to compute your college tuition itemized deduction and to determine which option (credit or deduction) is better for you.

You can claim the New York credit or deduction even if you claim a federal credit or deduction for qualified college tuition expenses. There is no limit on the number of eligible students for whom you may claim a credit or deduction. You may claim either the credit or the deduction, but not both.

To qualify for the college tuition credit or itemized deduction, you, your spouse, or your dependent(s) must be an undergraduate student enrolled at or attending an institution of higher education and have paid qualified college tuition expenses in 2018. Only expenses for undergraduate enrollment or attendance qualify.

An institution of higher education includes any institution of higher education or business, trade, technical, or other occupational school located in or outside of New York State. The institution must be recognized and approved by either the regents of the University of New York or a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association accepted by the regents. In addition, the institution or school must provide a course of study leading to the granting of a post-secondary degree, certificate, or diploma.

If a student is claimed as a dependent on another person's New York State tax return, only the person who claims the student as a dependent may claim the credit or itemized deduction. If a student is not claimed as a dependent on another person's New York State tax return, the student may claim the credit or deduction.

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