Students who attended an Iowa college or university that sits in one of the areas that was hit by flooding, tornadoes and severe storms last year will be eligible for new federal tax breaks. I.R.S. spokesman Christopher Miller says qualifying is easy.
Students attending school in a federally-declared disaster area will be able to take double the education credits in two programs. Miller says the Hope Credit grows from $1,800 to $3,600, while the Lifetime Learning Credit jumps from $2,000 to $4,000. He says Iowa’s just one of several Midwestern states that suffered crippling weather in 2008 and the I.R.S. is recognizing the difficulties students had to face.
Both of the credits will apply to general expenses like tuition and fees, books and supplies, even room and board — which had not been an eligible expense in the past. He points out the tax credits are not only doubling, they’re being expanded to cover more expenses. Miller says these aren’t the only bonuses being afforded to Iowans who were touched by last year’s disasters.
He says those students and their families are also eligible for other tax breaks relative to having had a disaster in their area, including casualty loss increases. Miller says the Hope Credit is designed for freshman and sophomores in college. The Lifetime Learning Credit is aimed at those attending school later in life. For more information, visit the I.R.S. website .