Form 8917 (2017)
Section references are to the Internal Revenue Code unless
For the latest information about developments related to Form
8917 and its instructions, such as legislation enacted after they
were published, go to www.irs.gov/Form8917.
Form 1098-T requirement. To be eligible to claim the tuition
and fees deduction, American opportunity credit, or the lifetime
earning credit, the law requires a taxpayer (or a dependent) to
have received a Form 1098-T from an eligible educational
However, for tax year 2017, a taxpayer may claim one of these
education benefits if the student does not receive a Form 1098-T
because the student’s educational institution is not required to
send a Form 1098-T to the student under existing rules (for
example, if the student is a nonresident alien, has qualified
education expenses paid entirely with scholarships, or has
qualified education expenses paid under a formal billing
arrangement). If a student’s educational institution is not required
to provide a Form 1098-T to the student, a taxpayer may claim
one of these education benefits without a Form 1098-T if the
taxpayer otherwise qualifies, can demonstrate that the taxpayer
(or a dependent) was enrolled at an eligible educational
institution, and can substantiate the payment of qualified tuition
and related expenses.
Purpose of Form
Use Form 8917 to figure and take the deduction for tuition and
fees expenses paid in 2017.
This deduction is based on adjusted qualified education
expenses paid to an eligible educational institution
(postsecondary). See Qualified Education Expenses, later, for
You may be able to take the American opportunity credit
or lifetime learning credit for your education expenses
instead of the tuition and fees deduction. See Form
8863, Education Credits, and Pub. 970, Tax Benefits for
Education, for more information about these credits.
Who Can Take the Deduction
You may be able to take the deduction if you, your spouse, or a
dependent you claim on your tax return was a student enrolled
at or attending an eligible educational institution. The deduction
is based on the amount of qualified education expenses you
paid for the student in 2017 for academic periods beginning in
2017 or beginning in the first 3 months of 2018.
Generally, in order to claim the deduction for education
expenses for a dependent, you must have paid the expenses in
2017 and must claim an exemption for the student as a
dependent on your 2017 tax return (line 6c of Form 1040 or
1040A). For additional information, see chapter 6 of Pub. 970.
You cannot claim the tuition and fees deduction if any of the
• Your filing status is married filing separately.
• Another person can claim an exemption for you as a
dependent on his or her tax return. You cannot take the
deduction even if the other person does not actually claim that
• Your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI), as figured on
line 5, is more than $80,000 ($160,000 if filing a joint return).
• You were a nonresident alien for any part of the year and did
not elect to be treated as a resident alien for tax purposes. More
information on nonresident aliens can be found in Pub. 519,
U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.
You cannot claim a tuition and fees deduction for any student
if you or anyone else claims an American opportunity or lifetime
learning credit (Form 8863) in 2017 with respect to expenses of
the student for whom the qualified education expenses were
paid. However, a state tax credit will not disqualify you from
claiming a tuition and fees deduction.
Qualified Education Expenses
Generally, qualified education expenses are amounts paid in
2017 for tuition and fees required for the student’s enrollment or
attendance at an eligible educational institution. Required fees
include amounts for books, supplies, and equipment used in a
course of study if required to be paid to the institution as a
condition of enrollment or attendance. It does not matter
whether the expenses were paid in cash, by check, by credit or
debit card, or with borrowed funds.
Qualified education expenses include nonacademic fees,
such as student activity fees, athletic fees, or other expenses
unrelated to the academic course of instruction, only if the fee
must be paid to the institution as a condition of enrollment or
attendance. However, fees for personal expenses (described
below) are never qualified education expenses.
Qualified education expenses do not include amounts paid
for the following.
• Personal expenses. This means room and board, insurance,
medical expenses (including student health fees), transportation,
and other similar personal, living, or family expenses.
• Any course or other education involving sports, games, or
hobbies, or any noncredit course, unless such course or other
education is part of the student’s degree program or helps the
student acquire or improve job skills.
Qualified education expenses do not include any expenses for
which you take any other deduction, such as on Schedule A
(Form 1040) or Schedule C (Form 1040).
You may receive Form 1098-T, Tuition Statement, from the
institution reporting either payments received in 2017 (box 1) or
amounts billed in 2017 (box 2). However, the amount in box 1 or
2 of Form 1098-T may be different from the amount you paid (or
are treated as having paid). In completing Form 8917, use only
the amounts you actually paid (plus any amounts you are
treated as having paid) in 2017 (reduced, as necessary, as
described in Adjusted Qualified Education Expenses, later). See
chapter 6 of Pub. 970 for more information on Form 1098-T.
Qualified education expenses paid directly to the institution
by someone other than you or the student are treated as paid to
the student and then paid by the student to the institution.
An academic period is any quarter, semester, trimester, or any
other period of study as reasonably determined by an eligible
educational institution. If an eligible educational institution uses
credit hours or clock hours and does not have academic terms,
each payment period may be treated as an academic period.
Qualified education expenses paid in 2017 for an academic
period that begins in the first 3 months of 2018 can be used in
figuring the tuition and fees deduction for 2017 only. See
Academic Period, earlier. For example, if you pay $2,000 in
December 2017 for qualified tuition for the 2018 winter quarter
that begins in January 2018, you can use that $2,000 in figuring
the tuition and fees deduction for 2017 only (if you meet all the