1. What is the 1098-T form?
The 1098-T form is used by eligible educational institutions to report information about their students to the IRS as required by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997. Eligible educational institutions are required to submit the student's name, address, and taxpayer’s identification number (TIN), enrollment and academic status. Beginning with 2003, educational institutions must also report amounts to the IRS pertaining to qualified tuition and related expenses, as well as scholarships and/or grants, taxable or not. A 1098-T form must also be provided to each applicable student. This form is informational only. It serves to alert students that they may be eligible for federal income tax education credits. It should not be considered as tax opinion or advice. While it is a good starting point, the 1098-T, as designed and regulated by the IRS, does not contain all of the information needed to claim a tax credit. There is no IRS requirement that you must claim the tuition and fees deduction or an education credit. Claiming education tax benefits is a voluntary decision for those who may qualify.
2. Why did I receive a 1098-T and what am I supposed to do with it?
In January of each year, Abilene Christian University mails an IRS Form 1098-T to all students who had qualified tuition and other related educational expenses billed to them during the previous calendar year. This form is informational only and should not be considered as tax opinion or advice. It serves to alert students that they may be eligible for federal income tax education credits. Receipt of Form 1098-T does not indicate eligibility for the tax credit. To determine the amount of qualified tuition and fees paid, and the amount of scholarships and grants received, a taxpayer should use their own financial records.
Note: It is up to each taxpayer to determine eligibility for the credits and how to calculate them.
3. Did you send a copy of this form to the IRS?
Yes. Section 6050S of the Internal Revenue Code, as enacted by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, requires institutions to file information returns to assist taxpayers and the Internal Revenue Service in determining eligibility for the American Opportunity Hope and Lifetime Learning education tax credits. Forms are mailed at the end of January of each year for the previous tax year.
For more information about qualified educational expenses, please see the IRS’ Publication 970 web page and other related web pages.
5. Why isn't there an amount in box 1?
The IRS instructs institutions to report either payments received (Box 1) or amounts billed for qualified tuition and related expenses (Box 2) on the 1098-T. Once an institution has selected one of these options, they cannot change reporting methods between calendar years without IRS permission. ACU reports qualified tuition and related expenses that were billed during the tax year (Box 2) and scholarships and grants. Therefore, Box 1 – Payments Received for Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses, will be blank.
6. What other information do I need to claim the tax credit?
While it is a good starting point, the 1098-T, as designed and regulated by the IRS, does not contain all of the information needed to claim a tax credit. Most of the information needed must come from the student's personal financial records of what the student paid during the calendar year. Additionally, each taxpayer and his or her tax advisor must make the final determination of qualifying expenses.
7. What are the American Opportunity Credit, the Hope Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit and what are allowable tuition and fee tax deductions for each?
See an overview of the Hope Credit, Lifetime Learning Credit, and allowable tuition and fee tax deductions. Not all students who pay qualified expenses are eligible for a tax credit. Publication 970 explains tax benefits for education.
8. I paid my qualified tuition and related expenses with student loans. Can I still claim a American Opportunity Hope or Lifetime Learning Tax Credit or the Higher Education Tuition and Fees Deduction?
Yes. Loan funds should be considered in the same manner as cash payments when calculating a American Opportunity Hope or the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit or the Higher Education Tuition and Fees Deduction. However, any scholarships, grants, or other non-taxable aid must be deducted from the amount of qualified tuition and related expenses paid. The credit is claimed in the year in which the expenses are paid, not in the year in which the loan is repaid.
9. If I pay college tuition and fees with a scholarship, can I claim an education credit on Form 8863 for those payments?
No. You cannot claim a credit for the amount of higher education expenses paid for by tax-free scholarships. For more information, please visit the IRS website.
10. Where can I find out more about educational tax credits and deductions?
For more information, please visit the IRS website or your tax advisor. Another source for some helpful information is the Tax Breaks for Higher Education web page provided by the National Association of Student Aid Administrators (NASFAA).
11. My address listed on the 1098-T has changed. Will this affect me?
No. The address shown on Form 1098-T is irrelevant for IRS income tax filing purposes. The single most important information on the form is your Social Security Number. Please call Wildcat Central at 888-588-6083 if the SSN on your 1098-T is incorrect.
12. How do I get a reprint of my 1098-T form?
If you did not receive a 1098-T due to a change of address, or you misplaced the form, you can print a duplicate in the Wildcat Pay Portal. Please be advised that ACU will not mail any duplicates.
13. How can I get an itemized listing of my financial activity that is on my 1098-T form?
Account statements are available online on the myACU portal. After logging in, follow this path: Banner > Student & Financial Aid > Student Records > Account Summary by Term to retrieve your account summary. NOTE: Activity for several terms may be applicable to any given tax year. If you no longer have access to myACU, please call Wildcat Central at 888-588-6083 for assistance.
17. How relevant is Form 1098-T to my individual tax return?
The IRS requires universities to provide Forms 1098-T to assist students in gathering information for their tax returns. However, the IRS provides the following guidance to taxpayers claiming a deduction for tuition expenses in the instructions to Form 8917:
You should receive Form 1098-T, Tuition Statement, from the college or university reporting either payments received during the applicable tax year (box 1) or amounts billed during the applicable tax year (box 2). However, the amounts in box 1 or 2 of Form 1098-T may be different from what you actually paid. On Form 8917, line 1, enter only the amounts you paid during the applicable tax year for qualified expenses (reduced, if necessary, as further described on Form 8917).
Note: ACU reports only the amounts billed during the applicable tax year (box 2).
18. What information is available from the IRS to help me determine my educational tax credits or deductions?
IRS Publication 970 provides guidance on Form 1098-T and claiming credits or deductions for amounts actually paid during the applicable tax year.
19. Where can I find information on tuition and fees I actually paid?
The amounts paid on your account during any year are available through the Wildcat Pay Portal. After logging in, follow this path: My Account > Account Activity to select terms that would have account activity for the year need. NOTE: Activity for several terms may be applicable to any given tax year.
20. If I am no longer a student, do I still have access to the Wildcat Pay Portal?
If you are unable to log in to the Wildcat Pay Portal, please contact Wildcat Central at 1-888-588-6083 for help in obtaining detailed account information.
Note: Please be advised that ACU is prohibited from providing legal, tax, or accounting advice to students and we are not responsible for any use you make of this information.
The above information is not offered as tax advice and is merely a summary of our understanding of certain tax rules; it is not intended to be a comprehensive or authoritative guide on taxation. The above information, as it pertains to tax rules, is subject to changes in federal or state laws and related interpretations. All users of the above information should consult their own tax advisors or legal counsel for advice related to their particular income tax situation.