Are Continuing Education Expenses Tax Deductible in 2021?

As we head into 2021, many of us are looking for ways to save on taxes. One question that comes up often is whether continuing education expenses are tax deductible.

The answer is a bit complicated, but basically it depends on whether the education is considered job-related. If it is, then you can deduct the expenses on your taxes. However, if the education is not job-related, then you can’t deduct the expenses.

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The IRS allows you to deduct certain educational expenses if they meet certain requirements. In order to deduct your continuing education expenses, the courses must maintain or improve job skills. The courses must also meet one of the following three criteria:

1. They are required by your employer or by law to keep your present salary, status or job.
2. They maintain or improve skills needed in your present work.
3. They are part of a program of study that will lead to qualifying you in a new trade or business.

What are continuing education expenses?

Continuing education expenses are those incurred in order to maintain or improve one’s qualifications in their profession. These expenses can include tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment. They can also include travel and lodging expenses if the education is received away from home.

Are continuing education expenses tax deductible in 2021?

The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, including the type of education you are pursuing and your specific tax situation. In general, you may be able to deduct the costs of tuition, fees, and other required expenses if you are pursuing a degree or other type of credential at an eligible educational institution.

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However, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you can only deduct the portion of your expenses that exceed 2% of your adjusted gross income (AGI). This means that if your AGI is $50,000, you can only deduct expenses above $1,000.

Second, you can only deduct the expenses for courses that maintain or improve your job skills. This means that courses taken for personal enrichment or general interest will not be deductible.

Finally, it’s important to note that the deduction is only available for taxpayers who itemize their deductions on their tax return. If you take the standard deduction, you will not be able to deduct any of your continuing education expenses.

If you think you may be eligible to deductible your continuing education expenses on your taxes, we recommend talking to a tax professional to get specific advice for your situation.

What are the qualifications for the deduction?

In order to qualify for the deduction, the courses must maintain or improve job skills. The tax code stipulates that the courses must be part of a degree program at a eligible educational institution. Consequently, you cannot deduct the cost of classes that you took solely for personal enrichment, such as watercolor painting or wine appreciation.

How much can you deduct?

The IRS allows you to deduct up to $5,250 per year in qualifying continuing education expenses. This includes tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for the course. It also includes any related travel or lodging expenses. Students who are claim the deduction must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree or certificate program.

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What are some other expenses that are tax deductible?

There are a number of other expenses that are tax deductible for those who are continuing their education. These can include the cost of books, supplies, and even transportation. In addition, if you are enrolled in a degree program, you may be able to deduct the cost of tuition and fees.


To sum it up, whether or not you can deduct your continuing education expenses on your taxes depends on a few different factors.

First, you’ll need to make sure that the courses you’re taking are job-related and will help you maintain or improve your current skills set.

Secondly, you’ll need to determine if the expenses meet the IRS’s definition of “qualified education expenses.” This includes tuition, mandatory fees, and books and supplies required for the course.

Lastly, you’ll need to make sure that you’re not claiming the American Opportunity Tax Credit or the Lifetime Learning Credit for the same expenses.

If all of these factors apply to you, then you should be able to deduct your continuing education expenses on your taxes.

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