Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/is tuition deductible?


I am a licensed clinical social worker and would like to pursue a doctorate in a mental health discipline. The schools that are most affordable are psychology programs. I have no intention of becoming a psychologist, but would like a better understanding of testing and to sharpen my clinical skills. The schools in question are not APA accredited and would not be recognized for purposes of licensure as a clinical psychologist in my state. Would the tuition be deductible? Would the answer be different if the doctorate was in social work- a discipline for which a master's degree is the only requirement for licensure in all 50 states?


The key is "does the additional education qualify you for a new job?" It does not matter that you do not intend to work in that field, but only use it for improving your new job skills.  For example, as a CPA in the tax area, I would be greatly benefited by obtaining a law degree.  But a law degree qualifies me for a new profession, even if I don't ever take the bar exam or practice law.  So it is not deductible.

You can get a limited benefit by taking the lifetime learning credit.

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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The CPA Journal, Florida CPA Today, Green Consumer, Green Business, Global Sustainability as a Business Imperative, Palmetto Review, NATP TaxPro Quarterly, Mustang Journal of Finance and Accounting.

DBA University of Memphis MBA University of Georgia BS in Accounting Mars Hill University

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