You can only claim one education credit for any student or expense. If you or your dependent qualifies for both credits, you may want to figure which deduction would give you the best benefit.
If you receive tax-free educational assistance, such as a grant, you need to subtract that amount from your qualified education expenses.
The PATH Act prevents you from filing past due returns or amended returns claiming the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) if the reason you’re filing is because you now have the type of valid Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) required for each credit but such TIN wasn’t issued on or before the due date of the return (including a valid extension).
If for any reason you or one of your family members didn’t receive a valid “taxpayer identification number” on or before the due date of the tax return (including extensions) you can’t file a past due return or an amended return to claim any of these credits. A valid taxpayer identification number could be a SSN, ITIN, or ATIN depending on the requirement for each credit.
For tax years beginning after June 29, 2015, generally 2016 tax year returns, you must have received an IRS Form 1098-T from an eligible educational institution to claim the American Opportunity Tax Credit or Lifetime Learning Credit.