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Information for 1098-T Form (Tuition Statement)
The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 created 5 new tax benefits for expenses paid for higher education, effective for the 1998 tax year. (Two of these were Education Tax Credits: http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=96341,00.html
TRA97 requires that institutions of higher education report certain information to the IRS and students via FORM 1098-T for help in determining available tax credits. The credits are non-refundable, meaning that they can only be applied to taxes due, but will not be refunded if the credit amount exceeds the total tax on the person's return.
American Opportunity Credit
- Credit Amount: 100% of the first $2000 plus 25% of the next $2000 ($2500) of the qualifying expenses posted for an eligible student to attend an eligible institution
- Qualifying Expenses: Tuition and Fees REQUIRED for enrollment at an eligible educational institution posted for the calendar year.
- Eligible Institution: Generally, offers Title IV student financial aid (Armstrong is eligible)
Eligible Student:To claim the American opportunity credit, the student for whom you pay qualified education expenses must be an eligible student. This student who meets all of the following requirements.
- Student did not have expenses that were used to figure an American opportunity credit in any 4 earlier tax years. This includes any tax year(s) in which you claimed the Hope credit for the same student.
- Student had not completed the first 4 years of postsecondary education (generally, the freshman, sopomore, junior and senior years of college) before 2013.
- Student was enrolled in at least one academic period beginning in 2013 and the student was enrolled at least half-time in a program leading to a degree, certificate, or other recognized educational credential.
- Student has not been convicted of any federal or state felony for possesing or distributing a controlled substance as of the end of 2013.
- Must pay at least $4000 in qualified expenses in order to claim the maximum $2500 credit.
- The credit may be claimed for only Four (4) taxable years.
Qualified Expensesdo not include books (FLEX), room and board, insurance, equipment, health fees, transportation, or other similar personal, living, or family expenses. (See IRS Publication 970).
Lifetime Learning Tax Credit
- Credit Amount: 20% of the first $10,000 of qualifying expenses posted for all eligible students to attend an eligible institution(s).
- Qualifying Expenses: Tuition and Fees REQUIRED for enrollment at an eligible educational institution(s) paid for the calendar year.
- Eligible Institution: Generally, offers Title IV student financial aid (Armstrong is eligible).
- Eligible Student: You, your spouse, and/or eligible dependent.
- Allowed for one or more courses.
- Available ONLY for the first 4 years of postsecondary education.
- No limit on the number of years for which the Lifetime Learning credit can be claimed.
- Expenses for graduate school are eligible.
- Qualified Expenses do not include books (FLEX), room and board, insurance, equipment, health fees, transportation, or other similar personal, living, or family expenses (See IRS Publication 970).
Other Important Information
- For each eligible student, you can select for any tax year, only one of the credits or a tax-free withdrawal from an education IRA.
- FERPA applies! Federal law prohibits us from giving out information to parents unless we have student's written consent on file in the Registrar's Office.
Armstrong does not offer tax advice or assist students, parents or guardians in calculating tax credits. We encourage you to consult your tax advisor or the IRS website at www.irs.gov.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why did I receive a form 1098-T?.
Armstrong is required by the Tax Reform Act of 1997 to send each student a form 1098-T to help them determine if they are eligible for one of the available Education Tax Credits. Form 1098-T is mailed each year by the end of January to those students who had tuition and fee charges in the preceding calendar year and may be used in income tax filings.
2. What does “Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses” (AKA “Qualified Charges”) mean?
Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses refers to those charges that are allowed to be claimed toward a tax deduction or educational tax credit on your taxes (Section 1.25 A-2 (b)(1)(2)(d) IRS Tax Code).
3. Why is the Amount Billed (box 2) different than what I actually paid?
All of the following can affect the difference in what you paid and what is reported in Box 2:
- Refunds you receive from Armstrong are deducted from the amount billed (Section 1.25 A-5 (f)(1) IRS Tax Code.
- The amount billed includes only charges that are charged to your account during the calendar year (Section 6050S IRS Tax Code).
- There are some charges that are not “qualified” according to the IRS, meaning they may not be counted toward the tax deduction or tax credit. Housing, meal plans, FLEX, transportation charge, health fees, medical insurance, and all other personal living expenses are some examples of charges that are NOT allowed to be included, even if the charges are mandatory for enrollment (IRS Publication 970).
- Contract payments and exemptions (fee waivers) are subtracted from amount billed (Section 1.25 A-5 (c)(1) IRS Tax Code).
4. Why is the Scholarship and Grants amount (box 5) different than the total of my scholarships and grants?
There are some scholarships and grants that are not reported. For example, private scholarships are not included in this amount.
5. Why are some boxes on the form blank?
Box 1 will always be blank because we are suppose to report either Payments Received (box 1) OR Amount Billed (box 2), not both. Armstrong chooses to report Amounts Billed. Boxes 4 and 6 are for adjustments for prior years. Since this is the first year that amounts are required to be reported, there are no adjustments to be made for prior years. Box 10 is for insurance contracts.
6. How can print a copy of my 1098-T?
You may acquire a copy of your 1098T through your Touchnet Bill+ Payment Suite. If the statement is not yet available, you may view 1098-T information in SHIP. Log into the Port, go to the Student Accounts and Financial Aid tab and click on My1098 in the Paying for College box. Note: You may need to update your tax year in SHIP.
7. I lost my 1098-T form. How can I get another?
You may acquire another copy of your 2013 1098T through your Tocuhnet Bill + Payment Suite.
8. Where can I get more information on form 1098-T, TRA97 or the Education Tax Credits?
The IRS website is very helpful. As stated on your hard copy of the 1098-T, for more information, see IRS publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education and IRS Form 8863, Education Credits at http://www.irs.gov website.
9. How do I file for these tax credits?
Attach IRS form 8863 “Education Credits (Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits)” to your tax return (1040). Armstrong staff cannot give tax advice or help in calculating individual credit amounts. Please see your tax advisor for assistance.
10. I am an international student and I didn’t receive a 1098-T. Why would this happen?
The IRS tax code states that nonresident alien individuals are not eligible to claim an education tax credit. Legal resident aliens may be eligible (section 25 A (g)(7) IRS Tax Code).