Oberlin, Ohio (PRWEB) August 22, 2013
Keeping track of their course material expenses could help save college students and their families up to $2,500 annually, and college stores stand by ready to help.
The American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) is a partially refundable tax credit of up to $2,500 annually for out-of-pocket higher education expenses including course materials, tuition, and fees for the first four years of college. First enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the credit was extended through tax year 2017 by the America Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. The tax credit is applied for by using IRS form 8863.
The National Association of College Stores (NACS) and its nearly 3,000 member stores are urging qualified students and their families to take advantage of this valuable tax credit. Families should consult tax preparers or the Internal Revenue Service on their eligibility for this important credit and keep records of eligible course material, tuition, and fee expenses incurred to ease accurate filing.
The credit covers textbooks and other course material expenses – as well as tuition and fees not covered by scholarships or grants – up to $2,500 each year for the first four years of college. Forty percent of the credit, up to $1,000 is refundable.
According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, 9.1 million students and families claimed the AOTC in 2009 with an average benefit of $1,755.
“NACS and its members work hard to help make textbooks and course materials as affordable as possible, and have long been advocates of including academically required course materials in tax credits. That is why NACS created http://www.textbookaid.org to provide individuals with accurate, easy-to-understand information about how to best take advantage of this beneficial tax relief,” said Rich Hershman, NACS director of government relations.
NACS developed, in partnership with the IRS, an easy-to-navigate web site, brochures, and Facebook page with news and information. It includes a summary of the AOTC, explanatory examples, answers to frequently asked questions about the credit, and direct links for further information from the IRS.
Headquartered in Oberlin, Ohio, the National Association of College Stores (NACS) is the professional trade association representing the collegiate retailing industry. NACS represents more than 3,100 collegiate retailers that serve America’s college students while supporting the academic missions of higher education institutions everywhere. Additional information on NACS can be found online at http://www.nacs.org/.