You Be the Judge
By Ric Edelman
A Maryland nurse went back to school to pursue a master of business administration degree with a specialization in health care management from an online college. As a quality control coordinator with years of nursing experience, Lori Singleton-Clarke thought the degree would give her more credibility with doctors when suggesting changes to hospital procedures and help her better communicate with professionals who she felt often disregarded her opinion because she was “just” a nurse. She spent $14,787 on tuition in 2005 and deducted the cost on her tax return. She later took a similar job with a different job title at a hospital closer to her home.
The IRS audited the nurse and said the deduction was prohibited because the new degree led to a new career. She appealed, saying the degree helped her better perform her existing job.
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