Kids in College? Don’t Overlook The American Opportunity Tax Credit
If you’ve got kids in college, we’ve got some information on a way to save some money. It has to do with something called the “American Opportunity Tax Credit.” But, there are some things about this credit than can get a little tricky…
Gilmore Jasion Mahler CPA Amy Merkel appeared on WTOL this week with some good information for students and parents.
What is the American Opportunity Tax Credit?
The American Opportunity Tax credit can reduce your tax liability up to $2,500 per year, it is even partially refundable if you do not have any federal tax liability. This AOC is available if you or one of your dependents is a college student and meets the qualifications. 100% of the first $2,000 paid + 25% of the next $2,000 paid
- Tuition was paid for yourself or one of your dependents
- Student is at least a half-time student for one academic period in the tax year or the first 3 months of the following year
- First four years of college
- Cannot have claimed the Hope or American Opportunity Credit for more than 4 years
- Modified AGI (basically AGI, line 22 from your tax return) must be less than $80,000 single/$160,000 for MFJ to get full credit
What expenses does it cover?
- Tuition – generally the amount reported on form 1098-T by the educational institution
- Books – do not have to be purchased from the institution
- Supplies and equipment, though NOT a computer unless it is required for attendance
- NOT room and board costs
What’s “tricky” about the tax credit?
Be careful with 529/qualified tuition program or education savings plan funds – no double benefit allowed; you can use the 529 funds to pay tuition and take advantage of the AOC at the same time, however some of the earnings of the 529 account may end up being taxable.
How do student loans factor in?
Loans = tuition paid. If using the credit with a loan – remember, it is when the expenses are paid/NOT when you get the loan money or when you pay the loan back.
Who actually gets the credit?
You need to remember that the AOC follows the students’ exemption. It doesn’t matter who pays the tuition. What matters is who claims the student as a dependent. This credit follows the exemption…no matter who actually pays the tuition costs. (example: using grandparents and student payments) The student (if not yourself) must be claimed as a dependent on your tax return for you to claim the credit.
Need more information?
Look for IRS form 8863. You’ll need to file it with your tax return to claim the credit. Also IRS Publication 970 has some good info on the American Opportunity Tax Credit.. in easy to understand language.
Amy Merkel is a Tax Senior Manager at Gilmore Jasion Mahler. She works with clients across many industries.
Gilmore Jasion Mahler Hosts Major Findlay Fundraiser Carnevale for Flag City Honor Flight
Hundreds are expected to gather in early November for a festive evening full of revelry and some surprises, as Gilmore Jasion Mahler hosts Carnevale 2017, an Italian festival-style evening of celebration at Findlay’s Marathon Center for the Performing Arts.
The event is November 3 from 5:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. and will feature music and live performers, Italian specialties from Chef Sam Fittante of the Bistro on Main, a live auction and some other surprises. All proceeds from the event and corporate sponsorships will go directly to Flag City Honor Flight, a nonprofit that bring Veterans to Washington, D.C. to see the memorials built to honor their service to our country. Last year’s Carnevale event raised over $42,000 and helped the nonprofit to pay for a second flight in 2017.
Corporate sponsorship helped make Carnevale 2016 a success and the same holds true for this year’s event. Many Carnevale corporate sponsors are back on board, including major sponsors Ohio Logistics and Rowmark. Huntington National Bank also came on board this year as a major sponsor.
“Community stewardship is a major core value of who we are as a company,” says Rowmark CEO and President Duane Jebbett. “We’ve seen the great work that Flag City Honor Flight does in recognizing and serving our Veterans. It is because of our Veterans we live in a free country, so Kathy and I are thrilled to support GJM in their effort to carry forward the Honor Flight Program locally. We didn’t hesitate to come on board as a Carnevale sponsor again this year.”
Ohio Logistics President and CEO Chuck Bills served as a Guardian on the June Honor Flight, escorting a Veteran to Washington, D.C.
“Ohio Logistics is a proud supporter of Flag City Honor Flight,” says the company’s President and CEO Chuck Bills. “Carnevale is a wonderful way to show that support. Accompanying a Veteran on a flight this year makes it that much more special for me on a personal level. These men and women risked their lives for our country. It is an honor to do something for them.”
“We are proud to join Ohio Logistics and Rowmark as major sponsors for Carnevale 2017,” says Huntington National Bank’s Findlay Community President Daniel Kendrick. “For over 150 years Huntington has been committed to strong community involvement. “Our Veterans deserve our support and respect. This is a great way to show them how much we value their service to our country.”
Gilmore Jasion Mahler, with offices in Maumee and Findlay, established Carnevale in 2016 as a way to give back to the Findlay community. The firm worked with Findlay Mayor Lydia Mihalik to identify organizations in need of funding, and decided Flag City Honor Flight could greatly benefit from the financial support.
“There are so many Veterans left to serve in our area, not only in the Findlay-Hancock County region, but in the Toledo area, across Ohio and beyond,” says Flag City Honor Flight President Bob Weinberg. “We’re so grateful for the support from GJM and these generous sponsors. All Veterans should be allowed the opportunity to see the memorials built in their honor in our nation’s capital. Carnevale will help make that happen.”
“We’re proud of what we accomplished with Carnevale in 2016. Community service is a core value for GJM,” says GJM Managing Partner Kevin Gilmore. “It’s amazing what can happen when a corporate community comes together to support an important cause.”
Last year's event raised over $42,000 for Flag City Honor Flight and helped to fund a second flight in 2017. GJM hopes to raise even more money this year for the nonprofit. The live auction is new this year at the event, and features "experience-focused" packages, including a fly fishing outing, a military experience package and a travel package featuring a 5-day trip to Italy.
Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD is the largest public accounting firm in the region, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers comprehensive financial services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory and healthcare management. GJM’s professionals specialize in industries including construction, real estate, healthcare, manufacturing/distribution and utilities.
GJM Launches Online Resource Addressing Manufacturing Workforce Shortage
We know the workforce shortage is perhaps the biggest challenge right now for many of our manufacturing clients, so we've put together an in depth online resource to help businesses connect with programs & initiatives dedicated to helping them solve this problem. "The New Manufacturing: Taking Action to Solve the Skilled Labor Shortage" is a featured resource on the Gilmore Jasion Mahler website. The material is the result of a recent GJM Manufacturing & Distribution Financial Executive Roundtable event on the issue. It offers perspective, solutions and resources for businesses.
"We're here to help our clients solve problems, and clearly this is a big one," says GJM Manufacturing Specialist Team lead Charlie Heid. "We hope this resource helps them and other manufacturing businesses to take action and see some positive results."
GJM offers the Manufacturing & Distribution Financial Executive Roundtable three times a year for financial executives within manufacturing businesses. Sign up here for future invitations.
Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers comprehensive financial services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory and healthcare management. The Firm's professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.
Italy Trip Headlines Gilmore Jasion Mahler Findlay Carnevale 2017 Live Auction
Picture yourself strolling through historic and scenic Bologna, Italy… or hunting for truffles in the picturesque Italian countryside… or taking a cooking class in Florence and then feasting on your creations.
Those are just some of the experiences and culinary delights you can enjoy if you have the winning bid at Gilmore Jasion Mahler’s Carnevale live auction this year. The featured Bologna, Italy trip "Italian Culinary Experience for Two" is just one exciting new feature of Carnevale 2017. Also new this year: other unique live auction “experiences”, several Italian carnival-style performers entertaining the guests, and other surprises. 13abc’s Tony Geftos serves as the event emcee and Findlay Chef Sam Fittante graciously returns, offering Italian cuisine.
Carnevale 2017 is November 3rd from 5:30 to 9 pm at the Marathon Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Findlay. All money raised through sponsorships and at the event itself will benefit Flag City Honor Flight. Carnevale 2016 raised over $42,000, helping to fund the nonprofit’s second flight in 2017, which was September 20th, when 80 Veterans and their Guardians traveled to Washington, D.C.
Those attending Carnevale 2017 can expect a lively evening, while knowing they’re helping a good cause. Flag City Honor Flight’s hope is to once again offer two Honor Flights in 2018 and Gilmore Jasion Mahler wants to help make that a reality. Managing Partner Kevin Gilmore says it’s exciting to try to help make that happen.
“Our people in both Findlay and Maumee have worked hard on the event planning all year, but we know the true key to the event’s success is the support of the Findlay-Hancock County community,” he says. “We saw that last year with Carnevale and I’m confident we’ll have that same strong community support at this year’s event.”
Many new sponsors are on board for Carnevale 2017 and many of the generous corporate supporters from 2016 are again supporting the event, including major sponsors Ohio Logistics and Rowmark. New this year as a major sponsor is Huntington National Bank.
“There are so many Veterans left to serve in our area, not only in the Findlay-Hancock County region, but in the Toledo area and across Ohio and beyond,” says Flag City Honor Flight President Bob Weinberg. “All Veterans should be allowed the opportunity to see the memorials built in their honor in our nation’s capital. Carnevale will help make that happen.”
Flag City Honor Flight is a completely volunteer-run 501(c) 3 organization founded in 2010 and operates solely on donations. Their mission is to transport American Veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit the memorials dedicated to honor their service and sacrifices.
Join Gilmore Jasion Mahler and our generous sponsors as we help get our heroes to Washington, D.C. Carnevale 2017 tickets are $60, which includes two drink tickets. To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, call 419-423-4481. You can also find sponsorship information and buy tickets on the Carnevale webpage or visit the GJM Facebook page.
Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers comprehensive financial services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory and healthcare management. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.
The Equifax Data Breach
LOCALLY OWNED. NATIONALLY AFFILIATED. GLOBALLY CONNECTED.
As a member of RSM US Alliance, we would like to share “Equifax Data Breach – What Happened, What Does it Mean, and What You Can Do?” with you.
Earlier this month Equifax announced that over 143 million Americans were potentially impacted by their recent data breach. Many GJM clients have asked what they should do in response. We feel the above article takes a pragmatic approach for both businesses and individuals in responding to this event.
Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD has been a proud member of the RSM US Alliance, a premier affiliation of independent accounting and consulting firms in the United States. RSM US Alliance provides our firm with access to resources of RSM US LLP, the leading provider of audit, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market. RSM US LLP is a licensed CPA firm and the U.S. member of RSM International, a global network of independent audit, tax and consulting firms with more than 38,000 people in over 120 countries.
Our membership in RSM US Alliance has elevated our capabilities in the marketplace, helping to differentiate our firm from the competition while allowing us to maintain our independence and entrepreneurial culture. We have access to a valuable peer network of like-sized firms as well as a broad range of tools, expertise and technical resources.
For more information on how Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD can assist you with cybersecurity risk, please reach out to Matt Hoverman, Director of IT Consulting at 419-794-2000.