Reminder: Form 1098-T is required to claim the tuition credit.

Congress has tightened the requirement for claiming tuition credit to discourage fraudulent claims.

Accredited educational institutions (for which the credit is allowed) send you Form 1098-T which is required in order to claim the American Opportunity or Lifetime Learning Credits, similar to the requirement of presenting the W2 before the tax return is filed. It is no longer permissible to claim the credit based upon your records alone. Just as I cannot file a tax return without being in possession of the W2, same goes for the 1098-T form.

Business-related education as self-employment expense does not fall under this stricter documentation, though it requires the usual level of proof as for any expenses.