Textbook Tax Deductions and News

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by collegelife on October 27, 2011

Did you save your receipts when you bought or rented your college textbooks this year?

According to the National Association of College Stores “keeping track of their course material expenses could save college students and their families up to $2,500 annually.  Under The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and extended by the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, a tax credit of up to $2,500 each year has been authorized for out-of-pocket higher education expenses for course materials, tuition, and fees for 2009 through 2012.  Forty percent of the credit is refundable”.

NACS developed its easy-to-navigate web site, brochures, and Facebook page in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service. It includes a summary of the AOTC, explanatory examples, answers to frequently asked questions about the credit, and direct links for further information from the IRS.

Did you hear the one about how some students really pay $200 or more for a textbook?

It’s true and don’t let it happen to you.  College students have more alernatives such as used books, rentals and digital textbooks.  In a MSN Money.com article, Liz Weston says “The difference today is that college students have a wealth of options. None of those options is perfect, which can cause a lot of frustration, resentment and ransacked bank accounts. But they exist nonetheless. In the Student Monitor’s survey:

  • 49% of textbook spending paid for new books.
  • 38% of spending paid for used books.
  • 10% went for textbook rentals.
  • 2% was spent on e-textbooks.

Weston also said “students spent twice as much on their cellphones, the Student Monitor found. They spent more at the movies. They spent more on gas.”  CBR has always advocated you can save upto 85% on your books when you rent vs buying new.

“Interestingly, it’s this vast, vigorous secondhand and rental market that’s indirectly abetting the high cost of new textbooks.  Here’s why: Creating a new textbook can be costly, and the market for most textbooks isn’t that huge. Back when publishers had a captive audience, they could more or less count on being able to spread those costs of production over a certain number of buyers.  As the used and rental markets expanded, that captive audience was captive no more. So now publishers often produce “updated” versions as a way of selling more books — spreading out the costs of production over more buyers”  added Weston.

 Thank you Cumberland County College‘s “The Voice Online”

Thanks for the College Book Renter “shout out” from The Voice Online.  Staff writer Marina Andoloro wrote “What’s increasing faster than the price of gasoline?  Apparently, it is the cost of student textbooks. It seems like every semester new editions come out and the price of that new textbook is even higher in price than that of the previous edition. Fortunately, sites have sprung up all over the Internet in the past few years that offer students the money-saving alternative of renting their books. Considering that not every student can afford the luxury of buying their books new every semester, renting books may be the best option.”

“Most students are unaware of how much money they could be saving by renting their textbooks instead of buying. The average full-time student pays more than $400 a semester on books, but could potentially save hundreds if they rented” Andoloro added.

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