CFA Fees as educational tax deduction or credit

Tell what you think: If your employer doesn’t cover your CFA expenses, can you deduct them from your taxes as an educational expense or use them as an education credit?? I think that you probably cannot but I’d love to hear an argument that you could.

There’s a topic on this in GD. Try the search function and you might be able to find it.

The tax deduction thing was discussed - the answer is yes. The tax credit thing was not discussed but the answer is no unless you are talking about taking a course at an accredited university that helps you fulfill the requirements. In that case, you might be able to take a “lifetime Learning Credit”. I can’t see how anyone could take a Hope Credit because they have to have less than two years of college.

yeah i was checking out that forum too but that discussion seems to lean towards taking it as a credit b/c CFAI qualifies as nonprofit proprietary education and its taken to improve job skills. Would be interested to hear your thoughts on this point though JoeyDVivre?

I spoke with my accountant a few days ago regarding this. One other ‘possible’ area, which he said is a grey one, would be whether or not the CFA curriculum would fall under continuing education if it pertains to your job. Passing a level of the CFA can give you CE credits for certain designations. He mentioned this would be on schedule C, between line 47 and 48. Again he said this is a grey area but Continuing Ed is not cheap, and the passing the CFA can give you a ton of CE. In my profession, passing Level 1 gave me 60 hours of CE credit, which would take care of 2 years worth of CE. For a CPA. He mentioned an example with the CPA which he said was precendent. If you are an accountant and go for the CPA, you can not write off any expenses for the Educational Credits and you can’t write of the expenses for the test and material. He mentioned that the Gov’t definition of accountant going to CPA would not qualify. The CPA is a gov’t license and this causes it to be more in concrete. T The CFA he said is in more of a grey area because it is mandated by a non-governmental org. Real risky to start messing with writing these off. Thought I’d share my two cents. I’m not a CPA, nor am I offering advice, and I’m only going off of his word, but he’s done a lot of research into it in the past.

Whoa - Did anyone suggest taking a credit on this? I can’t imagine how anyone can take a credit on this. The deduction I think is really straightforward and if you are already working in finance you can take it.

Thought I would add a different option to those that may be interested. Taking CE credit would be more valid in certain circumstances that trying to put it in an educational credit.

What continuing education credit? As far as I know, there is no CE tax credit in the US except the lifetime learning credit and you need to be enrolled in some accredited program to take it.

It’s not listed as a line item CE credit, but is part of a direct business expense used to keep up an accredidation. I.e. if you are a stockbroker and have to maintain your Series 7 license continuing education is due. Those expenses relating to keeping that up would be listed as a business expense that would be deductible. Basically a valid way to rearrange and account for as tax write-off.

^ Yes that’s a deduction not a credit (a credit is deducted from your taxes owed; a deduction is taken from your income in this casse subject to 8.5% AGI (or whatever it is these days) limits)

Yeah you’re right. Sloppy terminology on my part.