The Hope and Lifetime Learning tax credits are available to students or parents. Tax credits can be claimed for those paying for post secondary education for themselves, their spouse, or dependent children. Students or parents can only elect one of the education credits each year, per eligible student.
A tax credit reduces the amount of income tax students or parents may have to pay. Unlike a deduction, which reduces the amount of income subject to tax, a credit directly reduces the tax. The credits may be limited by the amount of income that a student or parent earns.