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3 Answers

The IRS changed for 8863/American Oppty and I have NO IDEA what line 23 means!?

Asked by: proffr 203 views YA Discussion

My son is a first semester junior in college. They changed the form 8863 and it is much more detailed than before. No one seems to be able to figure out line 23′s wording and it is a very important line. I cannot get through to the IRS without waiting hours. It says, “Has the Hope Scholarship Credit or American Opportunity Credit been claimed for this student for any 4 prior tax years?” What does “any 4 prior tax years” mean????? Any single year out of four or four total? The wording is absolutely ridiculous!!!


3 Answers



  1. browngal on Feb 13, 2013 Reply

    it means out of the pass 4 yrs Has the Hope Scholarship Credit or American Opportunity Credit been claimed for this student

    each year is a tax year

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  2. Pat on Feb 13, 2013 Reply

    The wording is not ridiculous.
    It’s plain English.

    Has the Hope Scholarship Credit
    or American Opportunity Credit
    been claimed
    for this student
    for ANY 4 prior tax years

    Go to IRS.GOV
    Got to “forms and publications”
    search 8863
    open the INSTRUCTIONS for 8863
    and find the specific paragraph for LINE 23.

    This is not rocket science.

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  3. Jen on Feb 13, 2013 Reply

    An individual is only eligible to take advantage of American Opportunity Credit four times in a lifetime (four separate tax returns). Has your son already claimed American Opportunity credit or the Hope scholarship credit 4 times? The years don’t have to be consecutive either, just any 4 times in his lifetime. If he is a junior as you stated he has probably only claimed this credit twice so far and would be clear to claim it two more times.

    I hope this better explains it for you!

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