Tax Frequently Asked Questions
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
Why did I receive a 1098-T and what am I supposed to do with it?
In January of each year, UNCW 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.
Was a copy of the 1098-T form sent 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 and Lifetime Learning education tax credits. Forms are mailed at the end of January of each year for the previous tax year.
What educational expenses are considered as qualified tuition and related expenses?
For more information about qualified educational expenses please go to: http://www.irs.gov/publications/p17/ch35.html#d0e74760
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. UNCW 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
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. Payment transactions can be viewed in E-bill. Additionally, each taxpayer and his or her tax advisor must make the final determination of qualifying expenses.
What tuition and fee tax deductions are available?
For an overview of the tax benefits available for education see http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p970.pdf
I paid my qualified tuition and related expenses with student loans. Can I still claim an American Opportunity 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 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.
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.
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 (910) 962-4281 if the SSN on your 1098-T is incorrect.
Where was my 1098-T form mailed? How do I get a reprint of my 1098-T form?
- The address where your 1098-T was mailed can be viewed on SeaNet. Click on "Student Services & Financial Aid"
- Click on "Student Records"
- Click on Tax Notification
- Enter in the tax year
If you did not receive a 1098-T due to a change of address please check if it was returned to the Student Accounts Office located in the Warwick Center or call 910-962-4281. Please be advised that UNCW will not mail any duplicates. Note: The 1098-T is not submitted with your tax return so printing your 1098-T information from SeaNet will suffice.
How can I get an itemized listing of my financial activity that is on my 1098-T form?
A breakdown of your 1098-T amounts are on SeaNet. See instructions above on how to find your tax supplemental information on SeaNet.
What if I still have questions?
If you have additional questions/concerns you can reach us
- by E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- by Phone: (910) 962-4281
Note: Please be advised that UNCW is prohibited from providing legal, tax, or accounting advice to students and we are not responsible for any use you make of this information.