Knowledge Base

11812: 1040 - Tuition and Fees Deduction

1040 Individual Generally

Where can I make entries to calculate and claim the Tuition and Fees deduction?
Form 8917 is used to calculate and claim the tuition and fees deduction for eligible taxpayers and their dependents on Form 1040, Schedule 1, line 21. 

The tuition and fees deduction flows to Form 1040, line 34 in Drake17 and prior, and Form 1040, Schedule 1, line 34 in Drake18. 

The Tuition and Fees deduction was extended for tax years 2018, 2019, and 2020 on December 20, 2019. Drake18 and Drake19 have been updated to allow the deduction to be entered. 


  • Filing status cannot be MFS.
  • If the MAGI is less than $80,000 ($160,000 if MFJ) but larger than $65,000 ($130,000 MFJ), the maximum deduction per return is $2000.
  • If the MAGI is lless than $65,000 ($130,000 MFJ), the maximum deduction per return is $4000.
  • The tuition and fees deduction cannot be claimed with American Opportunity or Lifetime Learning Credit for the same student in the same year.
  • If claiming the deduction on his/her own return, the student:
    • cannot be the dependent of another.
    • cannot be a nonresident alien for tax purposes.

Note: MAGI is AGI + certain amounts, so if the AGI is already over the limit, the taxpayer won’t qualify for the credit/deduction.

To claim the Tuition and Fees Deduction,

  1. Go to the 8917 screen.
  2. Select the Student's SSN from the drop list.
    • Only the taxpayer, spouse, and dependents entered on the return will appear in that selection field.
  3. Enter the total education expenses amount in the Total Qualified Educational Expenses (including the price of Books, Supplies, and Equipment) that were REQUIRED to be paid directly to the Educational Institution field.
    • If there were expenses that were not required to be paid directly to the institution, the amount can be entered on the Additional qualified education expenses... line, however, that amount will not be included in the calculation for the tuition and fees deduction. 
  4. Check the box Tuition and Fees deduction under Education benefit being claimed for this student.
  5. Complete the Educational Institution section. 
  6. A separate 8917 screen is needed for each student for whom a credit is claimed. Multiple schools attended by the same student can be entered on the 8917 screen by using the Educational Institutions tab located at the top of the screen.  If there are multiple students, press Page Down to create a new screen for each qualifying student. 

For Drake15 and earlier, enter the deduction on screen 8917 in the field Enter current-year qualifying expenses to force the tuition and fees deduction

See Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education.

Note about Qualified Education Expenses: 

Per the 8917 Instructions, only certain expenses can be included for the deduction calculation. You can enter the amounts as applicable on the 8917 screen and Drake Tax will only carry the allowable amount to the form. This is why there are separate lines for expenses required to be paid (red) and additional expenses not required to be paid (blue) to the educational institution The deduction will only be based on the amounts required to be paid (red box below). 


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