Tax questions

February 05, 1999

Members of the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants are answering readers' tax questions through April 15. Here, MDCPA members answer some basic questions.

Please explain what qualifies for the new Hope tax credit for higher education.

The Hope credit is worth up to $1,500 a year (100 percent of the first $1,000 of educational expenses paid after Dec. 31, 1997, for academic periods after that date and 50 percent of the next $1,000). This credit may be claimed for the first two years of qualified tuition and fees required for enrollment at an eligible educational institution. This credit applies to payments made for eligible students (you, your spouse, your dependent) who are enrolled for post-secondary education. Also, students must take one half of the normal full-time workload for the course of study for at least one academic period beginning during the calendar year. Students must also be free of any felony conviction for possessing or distributing a controlled substance.

The above advice is for general purposes only and is not intended as legal, accounting or tax advice. Specific situations may vary.

To ask a tax question, call Sundial, The Sun's telephone information service, at 410-783-1800. Call 410-268-7736 in Anne Arundel County, 410-836-5028 in Harford County, 410-848-0338 in Carroll County. Using a Touch-Tone phone, punch in the four-digit code 6225 after the greeting. You can also submit questions by e-mail through The Sun's Web site: www.sunspot.net. Click on Business.

Selected questions will be answered in the Business section. No questions will be answered personally.

Pub Date: 2/05/99

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