Student Loan Interest Deduction

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DEFINITION of 'Student Loan Interest Deduction'

A tax deduction for interest paid on higher education loans during the tax year in the U.S., the deduction amount being the lesser of $2,500 or the actual interest paid. The student loan interest deduction can be claimed by the taxpayer if the student loan was taken out solely to pay qualified education expenses; the loan cannot be from a related person or made under a qualified employer plan.

In addition, the IRS stipulates that the student must be the taxpayer, spouse or dependent, and should be enrolled at least half-time in a degree program. Moreover, the deduction is limited by the taxpayer's income; student loan interest cannot be deducted if the taxpayer's gross income exceeds $75,000 or $150,000 if filing a joint tax return with the spouse.

BREAKING DOWN 'Student Loan Interest Deduction'

As the student loan interest deduction is claimed as an adjustment to income, it is not necessary to itemize the deduction on Schedule A of Form 1040. The amount of interest paid in a given tax year can be found on Form 1098-E, which is furnished by the lender to the borrower.

In Canada, taxpayers can claim interest paid on student loans as a tax credit, subject to certain conditions. A Canadian taxpayer may be eligible to claim interest paid on a student loan in a given year or the preceding five years for post-secondary education, if the loan was received under the Canada Student Loans Act, the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act, or similar provincial or territorial government laws.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. What is the difference between certified and non-certified private student loans?

    All student loans in the United States are required by federal law to be used only for their intended purpose: obtaining ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Can I use my IRA to pay for my college loans?

    If you are older than 59.5 and have been contributing to your IRA for more than five years, you may withdraw funds to pay ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Can my IRA be used for college tuition?

    You can use your IRA to pay for college tuition even before you reach retirement age. In fact, your retirement savings can ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Can I use my 401(k) to pay for my college loans?

    If you are over 59.5, or separate from your plan-sponsoring employer after age 55, you are free to use your 401(k) to pay ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is the difference between comprehensive income and gross income?

    Comprehensive income and gross income are similar, but comprehensive income is a specific term used on a company's financial ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What tax breaks are afforded to a qualifying widow?

    The tax breaks accorded to qualifying widows or widowers include being able to use a tax filing status that allows for a ... Read Full Answer >>

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