Things You'll Need
You will need Form 8863 Education Credits (Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits) tax form available on the IRS website. (link below.) You will also need to have your receipts for expenses for the semesters you attended in that tax year. Example: if you went for the spring and fall semester for 2008, have expenses for both these semesters.
Once you have downloaded the tax form and instructions, take a moment to read through and make sure you are eligible to take advantage of this tax credit before filling out the form.
There are three parts to fill out on this Form 8863. The first part is for the "Hope Credit" and will request some personal information such as name and social security number. Next you will want to enter "Qualified Expenses" (see instructions for what is qualified as an expense). Finish completing columns C
through F by calculating the amounts as shown.
The next part is "Lifetime Learning Credit", note that you can not take this credit in the same tax year if you are taking advantage of the "Hope Credit". If you've decided to complete and use part one, skip down to part three.
Part three requires a calculator, your amounts from part one and your form 1040 or 1040A. Use your amounts from part one and fill in the requested information along with the amounts from your 1040 form.
Take your amount from line 17 of part three and this is what you will enter on your tax form 1040 or 1040A. If you are using 1040 you will enter this amount on line 50; if you are using 1040A you will enter this amount on line 31. Complete your 1040 to figure out what your total tax refund will be.