You cannot deduct an expense and also take it as a tax credit.
tax forms image by Chad McDermott from Fotolia.com
Federal tax laws offer a variety of ways to reduce your taxes using qualified educational expenses. Examples include the Lifetime Learning and American Opportunity credits, Coverdell education savings accounts, and tax-free interest on savings bonds used to pay for higher education. One simple method is to take the tuition and fees deduction. You do not need to itemize to claim this deduction, but you will need to file Form 8917 with your tax return.
Your modified adjusted gross income determines the maximum deduction you can claim. As
of 2011, married taxpayers filing jointly could deduct $4,000 if their modified adjusted gross income did not exceed $130,000, or $2,000 if income was between $130,000 and $160,000. No deduction was allowed if their income exceeded $160,000. The income limits were halved for taxpayers who were qualified widows or widowers, single or heads of households. Married taxpayers could not file separate returns and claim the deduction.
You may deduct the amount you pay to an accredited school for tuition. Virtually all private vocational schools, community colleges, public universities and private colleges are eligible. The school can tell you whether it is accredited and eligible under the Department of Education guidelines for student aid.