Undergraduate students can use the Hope Tax Credit only two times. They must use the credit while completing their undergraduate studies instead of waiting until after graduation because strict rules apply, Nonetheless, the Hope Tax credit must be used during the 4 qualifying years to be redeemed as a credit on your federal income taxes.
I prepared a "how to" article on how to apply for the Hope Tax Credit, The article carves out the steps to lead a parent or a student down the right path applying for the education credit they rightfully deserve. Keep in mind; parents and or students can continue to use lifetime learning credit to claim 20% of qualified education expenses.
For the most part, the Hope Tax Credit is worthwhile because a parent and or student can receive $2000 back as a credit for qualified education expenses. Don't let the Hope Tax Credit expire, especially when the tax credit belongs to you. Parents and students work too hard.
Respect your effort to apply for the tax credit at the time you're filing your taxes. If you have a tax prepare, tell them you want to use the Hope Tax Credit. They will know what you're talking about.
If you file your own taxes, follow the steps in my "how to" article to get the Hope Tax Credit. It is worth your time to receive $2000 back twice. Don't be like one of those people that reject help because they assume it is a waste of time. Be smart and take the credit.
The Hope Tax Credit is a credit that is taken at the end of the 1040 form, and not a deduction that reduces the tax liability. If you're only receiving $1000 back on your taxes, the Hope Tax Credit will provide you with another $2000 to increase your refund to $3000.
Make sure you save all your education receipts to present to the tax preparer. If you file your own taxes, keep the receipts in a safe place, even scanning them to store them on a digital drive. Good luck!
Please visit my eHow article to follow the Hope Tax Credit.