Can a Full Time College Student Claim Commuting Expenses on a Tax Return?

Taking the bus to get to campus is not a deductible expense.
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The Internal Revenue Service allows college students, whether they attend school full-time or not, to deduct certain expenses on their income taxes. These include tuition and some other student fees. However, most expenses, including commuting expenses, are not tax deductible.


Expenses Must Be Qualified

For a college expense to be deductible, it must be qualified. Tuition and some fees count if they're a condition of attendance. For example, if the student must pay student activity fees and buy books and equipment to even get into the school, it is a qualified expense. Transportation expenses are not qualified and therefore are not deductible.

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Student Loan Interest Deduction

Students can indirectly deduct commuting expenses if they're using part of their student loan to pay for them. To deduct student loan interest, the IRS expands the definition of qualified expenses, including those related to commuting.