Are room and board qualified education expenses? The answer is maybe.
Room and board can be qualified education expenses if the student is enrolled at least half-time in a degree program and if the school provides the student with a room and board allowance.
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Qualified Education Expenses
According to the IRS, Room and board are qualified education expenses if the student is attending school at least half-time. This means that the student is taking at least five three-credit courses per semester. If the student is living in a dormitory or with family, the qualified expenses would include the cost of meals, rent, and utilities. If the student is living off campus, the qualified expenses would include the cost of meals and housing, but not utilities.
Defined by the IRS
Qualified education expenses are defined by the IRS as “tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution.” In addition, room and board expenses may also be qualified education expenses if the student is enrolled at least half-time.
Examples of Qualified Education Expenses
The term “qualified education expenses” covers a wide range of costs associated with attending college or another eligible educational institution. In general, qualified education expenses are amounts paid for tuition, fees and other related expenses required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution. However, there are some additional costs that may qualify as well.
Below are some specific examples of qualified education expenses that can be used to claim the American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit:
-Tuition and required fees
-Enrollment or participation fees
-Books, supplies and equipment
-Other instructional materials
-Room and board (if attending at least half-time)
-Special needs services incurred in connection with enrollment or attendance
Expenses that do not qualify as qualified education expenses include the following:
-Costs associated with sports, games or hobbies
-Room and board for students who are not enrolled at least half-time
-[Amounts spent on] Elective courses not required for enrollment or attendance [at the educational institution]
Room and Board
Room and Board are qualified expenses for the student and the student’s spouse. The cost of lodging and meals while attending school away from home are considered qualified education expenses. If the student is married, the cost of lodging and meals for the student’s spouse are also qualified education expenses.
Qualified vs. Non-Qualified Room and Board Expenses
There are two types of room and board expenses: qualified and non-qualified. Qualified room and board expenses are those that are incurred as a result of attending an eligible educational institution. Non-qualified room and board expenses are those that are not incurred as a result of attending an eligible educational institution.
The following expenses are considered to be qualified room and board expenses:
-Board expenses (meals)
-Books and supplies
-Equipment and software
The following expenses are considered to be non-qualified room and board expenses:
-Laundry and dry cleaning
-Personal care products
How to Claim Room and Board as a Qualified Education Expense
In order to claim room and board as a qualified education expense, you will need to itemize your deductions on your tax return. You will also need to provide documentation to support your expenses, such as receipts or cancelled checks.
Room and board expenses are only deductible if they are considered necessary for attendance at an educational institution. This means that expenses for lodging and meals are only deductible if they are required by the institution in order for the student to attend. Room and board expenses are not deductible if the student could have chosen to live elsewhere or if the student chose to live in an off-campus apartment or house.
Other Qualified Education Expenses
You can deduct various expenses as qualified education expenses. Examples include tuition and related fees, books, supplies, and equipment. You can deduct these education expenses even if you do not itemize your deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040).
Tuition and Fees
The cost of tuition, fees, books, and supplies are qualified education expenses. You can use tax-free money to pay for these expenses whether you’re paying for yourself or someone else, like a child or grandchild. These expenses are called “qualified education expenses.”
Books and Supplies
The cost of books, supplies, and equipment required for a course of study may be considered qualified education expenses. To be considered qualified, the books, supplies, and equipment must be required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution. This would include items such as notebooks, paper, pens, and other materials necessary for a course of study; as well as software designed for a course of study.
Equipment and Software
In addition to tuition and fees, you can use your 529 funds to pay for expenses like:
– Room and board
– Books and supplies
– Computers and related technology
– Internet access and related services