FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT IRS FORM 1098-T


GENERAL 1098-T QUESTIONS:

ONLINE 1098-T ACCESS QUESTIONS:

GENERAL 1098-T QUESTIONS


QUESTION: How can I get a copy of my 1098-T?

Answer: Every ISU student eligible to receive a 1098-T will have electronic access to their form by January 31st. Mailed forms will be post-marked by January 31st and will be sent to the mailing address in the University's records as of the post-mark date. To access your 1098-T through your MyISU Portal and follow the steps below.

Question: Why is Box 1 of my 1098-T blank?

Answer: Box 1 (Payments received for qualified tuition and related expenses) is blank because ISU reports “Amounts billed” instead. The IRS provides the option for universities to report either “Payments received” in Box 1 OR “Amounts billed” in Box 2, but not both (refer to Page 14 of IRS Publication 970 for details). ISU has elected to report “Amounts billed”. However, the tax credits are based on the amount of qualified tuition and related expenses actually paid. Please refer to your Account Summary on the MyISU Portal and determine the amount of qualified tuition and related expenses that you actually paid during the calendar year when computing your credit.

QUESTION: What does the amount in Box 2 mean?

Answer: Box 2 (Amounts billed for qualified tuition and related expenses) reflects the “qualified tuition and expenses” billed to your account during the tax year. “Qualified tuition and expenses”, as defined by the IRS, includes tuition and related fees that are required for enrollment or attendance by the University. Examples of those fees include the transportation fee, technology fee and lab fees. Box 2 WILL NOT include expenses billed for room and board.

QUESTION: What does the amount in Box 4 mean?

Answer: Box 4 (Adjustments made for a prior year) reflects any refunds of tuition and fees billed in a previous tax year that you may have received in the current tax year. The amount in Box 4 may reduce any allowable education credit you claimed for a prior year. For more information, refer to “When Must the Credit be Repaid (Recaptured)” for the American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning credits in IRS Publication 970: Tax Benefits for Education.

QUESTION: What does the amount in Box 5 mean?

Answer: Box 5 (Scholarships or grants) reflects any scholarships or grants applied to your account during the calendar year. Tax credits cannot be claimed for tuition expenses paid with tax-free funds. Credit can be claimed, however, for tuition expenses paid with loans of any type. In the case where both sources of funds are used to pay both tuition and housing expenses, all tax-free aid is presumed by the IRS to be applied to tuition expenses first. The exception to this rule would be a scholarship or grant specifically designated by the grantor to be used for housing, books or other non-tuition expenses.

QUESTION: What does the amount in Box 6 mean?

Answer: Box 6 (Adjustments to scholarships or grants for a prior year) reflects any adjustments of scholarships or grants that were originally applied in a previous tax year. Adjustments of scholarships or grants shown in Box 6 could affect an education credit filed in a previous tax year. It is recommended to contact your tax preparer for advice.

QUESTION: What does the check mark in Box 7 mean?

Answer: If there is a check mark in Box 7, it means that Box 2 will include billed tuition and fees for an academic semester that began in the new tax year. For instance, the ISU Spring semester begins in January, but the tuition and fees for that semester are billed in December. The billing and the time of instruction take place in two different tax years. This does not occur with the Fall or Summer semesters, which are billed and take place in the same tax year.

QUESTION: What does the check mark in Box 8 mean?

Answer: If there is a check mark in Box 8, it means that you were considered at least a half-time student during the tax year. At ISU, “at least half-time” is considered to be 6 or more credit hours in a semester.

QUESTION: WHAT IF I BELIEVE THERE IS AN ERROR ON MY 1098-T?

Answer: If you believe there is an error on your 1098-T, you can email (1098t@indstate.edu) or call (812-237-3523 or 812-237-8701) the Office of the Controller.

QUESTION: WHAT EDUCATION CREDITS ARE AVAILABLE AND WHERE CAN I GET INFORMATION REGARDING THE CREDITS?

Answer: You may be eligible for one of two education credits allowed by the IRS. The American Opportunity Credit is available for students for the first four years of postsecondary education. The credit provides up to $2,500 (100% of the first $2,000 in qualified tuition & related expenses, and 25% of the next $2,000). The American Opportunity Credit is calculated on eligible expenses paid during the 2011 calendar year. To be eligible for the credit, the student must be enrolled at least half time for at least one academic period at a qualified educational institution.

The Lifetime Learning Credit is a less restrictive tax credit of up to $2,000 (20% of the first $10,000 of qualified tuition and related expenses) per return (the American Opportunity Credit is per student). The Lifetime Learning Credit is also calculated on eligible expenses paid during the 2011 calendar year.

There are other provisions and requirements that should be reviewed before claiming the American Opportunity or the Lifetime Learning Credits on your tax return. ISU may not provide tax or legal advice and therefore cannot determine if you qualify for one of the credits. If you believe that you qualify for the American Opportunity or Lifetime Learning Credits, consult your tax advisor, or contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. For your reference, we have provided some helpful links below.

IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education, for use in preparing 2011 returns.

NACUBO’s Education Tax Credit site provides information on both tax credits, as well as information about some of the other provisions of the Taxpayer Relief Act. It also has some links to various IRS publications. See "Resources for Students" on this page. NACUBO is the National Association of College and University Business Officers.

ONLINE 1098-T ACCESS QUESTIONS


QUESTION: HOW DO I CHOOSE TO RECEIVE THE 1098-T IN AN ELECTRONIC FORMAT ONLY?

Answer: It’s easy! Just log into your MyISU Portal and follow the directions below:

QUESTION: IF I ELECTED TO RECEIVE AN ELECTRONIC COPY OF MY 1098-T IN A PREVIOUS YEAR, DO I NEED TO DO IT AGAIN THIS YEAR?

Answer: No, once you have elected to receive the 1098-T electronically, your election stays in effect for the remainder of your time at ISU, unless you choose to cancel it.

QUESTION: WHEN WILL MY 1098-T FORM BE AVAILABLE?

Answer: The forms will be available online by January 31st. You will receive email notification when your form is available.

QUESTION: CAN MY PARENTS OR TAX PREPARER ACCESS MY 1098-T ONLINE?

Answer: No, online access for 1098-T forms is available to ISU students only.

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