Distribution of Education Tax Credits by AGI, 2011
Students and their parents saved $19.8 billion through federal education tax credits in 2011. The average savings per recipient were $1,410.
NOTE: The number of recipients of tax credits includes those claiming refundable or nonrefundable credits. Nonrefundable dollars claimed on nontaxable returns are not included. The value of tax deductions is estimated based on applicable marginal tax rates. The tax deduction was first implemented for the 2002 tax year. Percentages may not sum to 100 because of rounding.
SOURCES: Internal Revenue Service, Statistics of Income, Tables 1.3, 1.4, 2, 3.3 (1998–2011); calculations by the authors.
- The number of taxpayers benefiting from the tuition tax deduction declined from 2.9 million in 2008 to 1.2 million in 2011, as the number of filers benefiting from education tax credits increased from 5.2 million to 14.1 million.
- The AOTC is available to taxpayers with an AGI as high as $180,000. Of the savings from tax credits, 21% went to households with an AGI of $100,000 or higher in 2011; 57% of the tuition tax deduction benefit went to households with incomes between $100,000 and $160,000.
- Because the AOTC is partially refundable, 26% of the savings from tax credits went to households with an AGI below $25,000 in 2011. Only 4% of the tax deduction benefit went to households in this income category.