IRS Reporting & Compliance
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Educational Tax Credits
The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 (TRA 97) provided new tax benefits for those individuals paying higher education costs for themselves or family members. Two tax credits, the American Opportunity Credit and Hope Credit are available to help students offset the cost of higher education by reducing the amount of taxable income.
American Opportunity Credit
The American Opportunity Credit originally modified the existing Hope Credit for tax years 2009 and 2010, later extended through 2017 - making the benefit available to a broader range of taxpayers, including many with higher incomes and those who owe no tax. It also adds required course materials to the list of qualifying expenses and allows the credit to be claimed for four post-secondary education years instead of two. Many of those eligible qualify for the maximum annual credit of $2,500 per student.
The Hope Credit generally applies to 2008 and earlier tax years. It helps parents and students pay for post-secondary education. The Hope Credit is a nonrefundable credit. This means that it can reduce your tax to zero, but if the credit is more than your tax, then the excess will not be refunded to you. The Hope Credit amount you are allowed may be limited by the amount of your income and the amount of your tax.
The purpose of form 1098-T is to assist students in preparing IRS form 8860. The university is required to produce the form each year. The form reports the amount of qualified tuition expenses and any qualified non-taxed credits (grants and scholarships) received during the calendar year.
The paperless option provides students with advance access to their 1098-T on Student Information Online (SIO). To enroll in the paperless option, log into SIO, hover over the 'Finances' tab, select 'IRS Tuition Statement (1098-T)' and then click the 'Edit' button on the right side of the page. Finish by agreeing to the disclosures and click the 'Submit' button. Students may opt-in or out of the paperless option for calendar year 2013 at any time before January 1, 2014. Any changes made after this date will be effective for the following calendar year.
Distribution of Current Year Forms:
Students who enroll in the paperless option will receive a notification when their 1098-T is available for viewing online. The university will mail 1098-T forms to all other students' permanent addresses during the last week of January.