Educational Components of H. R. 2029

December 20th, 2015
In mid-December Congress passed the 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act, including amendments titled Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) H.R. 2029. That bill addressed a wide array of concerns but it may be best known as the tax extender bill. Those interested in education credits welcomed the extender package because it made the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) permanent. Unlike many AOTC proposals made during the year that would rewrite the AOTC, unfortunately this package only makes AOTC permanent by removing the phrase "and before 2018" in IRC Section 25A(i). The amounts are the same… more »

Education Tax Credits: And Other Educational Incentives

November 21st, 2015
The final Education Tax Credits book is now available. I published an abbreviated version in May that I titled Education Tax Credit Essentials. I wanted to make the most crucial content available for extended filing season and to encourage feedback as I worked on the full version. Education Tax Credits is a guide for tax professionals to better understand the many complexities related to education tax credits and other tax incentives for education. This systematic analysis guides preparers in the steps required to process education credit claims, from researching scholarships and calculating the maximum credit to coordinating with educational savings accounts and Pell grants. more »

Education Credit Alert

July 23rd, 2015
While taxpayers will now be required to have a 1098T to claim an education credit or deduction, institutions are often not required to provide one. Until that is remedied, many taxpayers could be deprived of a credit they would have otherwise been qualified for. more »

Education Tax Credit Essentials

June 10th, 2015
Education Tax Credit Essentials has been published by Dana Bell and is available as a paperback and in electronic form for major eBook devices. This book attempts to help professionals better understand the many complexities related to education tax… more »

OpenOffice Writer Themes

June 6th, 2015
In Word you can create a document and by using styles associated with the selected theme, you can make sure the design is consistent throughout, without having to change a lot of fonts and colors. You could also create a document and then select an alternate theme and totally change the design of the document (colors, fonts, etc). While OpenOffice Writer doesn't have themes, you can actually do much the same thing in OpenOffice.… more »

Seek Professional Help

April 28th, 2015
Tax season in now over for the regular 2014 tax year. Yes, there are still extensions but for many the taxes are paid or the refund has been requested. This was my fourth year working as a volunteer preparing tax returns and I prepared about 180 returns… more »

Explaining the American Opportunity Tax Credit

March 21st, 2015
When I talk to a taxpayer about their return and the potential of claiming the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) they often are confused about it, especially if the AOTC involves including scholarships in income. I've struggled with how to explain… more »