Know Your Higher Education Tax Benefits

General Information on Available Tax Credits

A variety of tax benefits exist for you while you are currently enrolled in school as well as once you have entered repayment. Both tax credits and tax deductions may apply to you. The National Association of Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) offers excellent advice on possible tax incentives available to you for the current tax year, including the American Opportunity Tax Credit and The Lifetime Learning Tax Credit. The Federal Student Aid website also explains the different tax benefits for higher education as well as provides comprehensive information to help you file your taxes.

Opportunity Maine Tax Credit

If you graduated from a Maine college and continue to live and work in Maine, please visit Opportunity Maine to see if you are eligible for certain tax benefits based on student loan payments made while you live and work in Maine. "Benchmark Loan Payments" are provided on the Opportunity Maine website*. Generally, you will need to gather the following information:

  • Graduation date and credits completed after 2007
  • Type of degree earned
  • Average monthly loan payment DUE and PAID
  • Number of years/month living and working in Maine
  • Number of months loans were paid in the year

The Educational Opportunity Tax Credit (EOTC) Worksheet is best completed using the Opportunity Maine Tax Credit Estimator because your information will populate into this form for printing. (Social Security number can be entered by hand after you print it.) 

*For 2008-2009 Benchmark Loan Payments for UNE are as follows:

  • 2008: Associate's Degree = $73     Bachelor's Degree = $321
  • 2009: Associate's Degree = $73     Bachelor's Degree = $339

Other Tax Credits Available by State

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy offers state-based guidance on higher education income tax deductions and credits. Please review the Appendix under Figure 1 on this page to learn the details of your  state's tax deduction and credit opportunities.

For instance, Maine offers a limited tax credit opportunity to primary care professionals who are repaying loans called the Maine Tax Credit Certification for Primary Care Professionals. Please contact (207) 287-9300 for more information through Maine's Department of Health and Human Services, Licensing and Certification.  

Helpful Tax Advice From the IRS

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Information Center provides helpful website guidance regarding Tax Benefits for Education. Available on this site is an Interactive Tax Assistant which will walk you through an interview to determine if you're eligible for certain tax benefits and deductions.

Also, please see below a helpful video from the Internal Revenue Service that will guide you.

Education Tax Credits