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Tax help to ease educational costs

What's that cheering I hear? Oh yes, parents sending their kids back to class.

Of course, the joy vanishes when the school bills arrive.

But your dear old Uncle Sam wants to help with the ever-increasing cost of getting an education. And the many tax-favored ways to pay for school costs is our latest Weekly Tax Tip.

The tax code is full of ways to save and pay for college and some elementary and secondary school expenses.

They include 529 plans, Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, the tuition and fees and student loan interest above-the-line deductions, the American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning education tax credits and even a break on savings bond interest earnings.

As with all things tax, there are earnings limits, dual tax break restrictions and requirements that educational institutions and students must meet.

But it's worth the tax homework to save a bit on the high price of getting smarter.

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