You can deduct the costs of qualifying education. This is education
that meets at least one of the following two tests.
- The education is required by your employer or the law to
keep your present salary, status, or job. The required education must
serve a bona fide business purpose of your employer.
- The education maintains or improves skills needed in your
You can deduct the expenses for qualifying education even if the
education could lead to a degree.
You can use Figure A as a quick check to see if your
Education Required by
Employer or by Law
Once you have met the minimum educational requirements for your
job, your employer or the law may require you to get more education.
This additional education is qualifying education if it is required
for you to keep your present salary, status, or job, and the
requirement serves a business purpose of your employer. The education
must not be part of a program that will qualify you for a new trade or
When you get more education than your employer or the law requires,
the additional education is qualifying only if it maintains or
improves skills required in your present work. See Education To
Maintain or Improve Skills.
You are a teacher who has satisfied the minimum requirements for
teaching. Your employer requires you to take an additional college
course each year to keep your teaching job. This is qualifying
education even if you eventually receive a master's degree and an
increase in salary because of this extra education.
Education To Maintain
or Improve Skills
If your education is not required by your employer or the law, it
is qualifying education only if it maintains or improves skills needed
in your present work. This could include refresher courses, courses on
current developments, and academic or vocational courses.
You repair televisions, radios, and stereo systems for XYZ Store.
To keep up with the latest changes, you take special courses in radio
and stereo service. These courses maintain and improve skills required
in your work.
Unless required by your employer or the law, education that relates
to work you may enter or return to in the future is not qualifying
education. Education that prepares you for a future occupation
includes any education that keeps you up-to-date for a return to work
or that qualifies you to reenter a job you had in the past.
If you stop work for a year or less and then go back to the same
kind of work, your absence is ordinarily considered temporary.
Education during a vacation, temporary leave, or other temporary
absence from your job is considered related to your present job.
You quit your biology research job to become a full-time biology
graduate student for one year. If you return to work in biology
research after completing the courses, the education is related to
your present work even if you do not go back to work with the same
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