As lawmakers consider two different bills that would overhaul the tax code, several changes on the table could affect Americans who are paying student loans. The House version of the bill would eliminate some tax benefits for those with college costs. However, the Senate version of the bill would leave most of them untouched. Both bills would eliminate many tax breaks, however; they would also roughly double the standard deduction.
If you are currently paying off your student loans, you can use the student loan interest deduction to lower your taxable income by as much as $2,500. It is an “above the line deduction,” meaning it can be claimed without itemizing. It is available to borrowers with modified adjusted gross incomes up to $65,000 or $130,000 of couples filing jointly. The current tax deduction saves people a maximum of $625 per year. The proposed House bill would repeal the deduction while the Senate bill would keep it in place.
If you are paying for your child’s tuition you can currently claim the American Opportunity Tax Credit for up to $2,500 per child enrolled in college each year. The full credit is available to couples earning up to $160,000 per year and an individual earning up to $80,000 per year. The proposed House bill would expand eligibility to a student’s fifth year at a reduced benefit and the Senate version would keep the credit as it is.
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