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Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/American Opportunity Credit


I was wondering if I can claim the american opportunity credit on my taxes this year? I was first in college from fall 2007 to spring of 2009.  Then I took the next semester off. I then started a tech program for my associates degree in spring of 2010 and finished in fall of 2011.  In 2012, i started in school again to finish my bachelors degree.  I was wondering if this still counts in my 4 years to claim this credit? I know Ive claimed this credit twice before.


Thanks for your question.

You can take the AOTC for the first four years of post-secondary education, not necessarily for four years.  By my count, you seem to have been in school for four years prior to your 2012 enrolment. If that is correct, you cannot take the credit now.

Hope this helps.

John Stancil, CPA  

Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)

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John Stancil, CPA


I can answer questions on personal income taxes, partnerships, and some corporate income taxes. I can deal with some state tax questions. Limited gift and estate tax questions. I am also familiar with ministerial and church tax reporting issues. I am Professor Emeritus at Florida Southern College. Sales taxes and property taxes are state and local issues so I am not likely be be able to give you an in depth answer on those types of taxes. I have maintained a CPA practice, specializing in tax, for over 35 years. I am a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals, The Florida Insititute of CPA's, The NCPE Fellowship. In addition I am a Certified Mentor for SCORE. Visit my website at I also offer seminars and consultations to churches and clergy on their tax issues at Also visit my blog, I am listed on Tax Connections at Prepare and file your own taxes at


I hold a doctorate in Accounting, and am a CPA. My certifications of CIA, CFM, and CMA are inactive. I passed all certification examinations on the first attempt, and received honorable mention for my scores on the CIA exam. I have operated a CPA firm for over 37 years and have taught accounting and tax at the college level for over 35 years.

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