1098-T

What is the Form 1098-T?

Form 1098-T is an annual IRS form completed by Western Carolina University as required by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 which is furnished to students to assist them in the preparation of their annual income tax returns. The form summarizes qualified tuition and related expenses for the calendar year (January 1 to December 31). The form reports the amounts billed that may entitle the student to the American Opportunity Credit, Lifetime Learning Credit, or other educational tax benefits depending on their individual situation.

In order to comply with IRS regulations, Western Carolina University is required to have the student's social security number for 1098-T IRS reporting. Not having the number can delay processing.

Your 1098-T form will be accessible online 

If the amount of tuition BILLED (not paid) during 2013 is greater than the amount of scholarships and grants received, you will have a 2013 Form 1098-T Tuition Statement available on-line by going to the Vangent TRA website:  https://tra.vangent.com/.  Click on “ First Time Students” and follow the registration instructions.    You may view and print the 1098-T.  If you acknowledge that you have received your 1098-T electronically, a paper form will not be mailed.  If you do not acknowledge electronic receipt of the 1098-T on the website by January 21, 2014, a paper form will be mailed by January 31, 2014.     

You may have your 1098-T mailed

For students who cannot access the Vangent TRA website or want to have their form mailed, forms will be mailed by January 31, 2014 to the mailing address in our records. If you are a current student, we encourage you to take advantage of receiving the form electronically: save time, eliminate the risk of losing your 1098-T form in the mail, and safeguard your personal information.

The 1098-T Form

Box 1: Payments received for qualified tuition and related expenses: Not used.

Box 2: Amounts billed for qualified tuition and related expenses: Schools have the option of reporting amounts paid or amounts billed.  We report to the IRS the amount of qualified tuition and fee expenses billed to your account during the calendar year 2013. A list of qualified expenses is presented in the next section.

Box 3: Change in Reporting Methods Box: Not used

Box 4: Adjustments made for a prior year: This is for adjustments to tuition for any period prior to January 1, 2013. In general, net tuition = Box 2 – Box 4

Box 5: Scholarships or grants: This box reports scholarships and grants, but not loans, posted to your account during the calendar year 2013. Scholarships and grants may be paid in cash or may be in the form of direct tuition reductions.

Box 6: Adjustments to scholarships or grants for a prior year. This is for adjustments to scholarships and grants that were granted any time prior to January 1, 2013. In general, net grants = Box 6 – Box 5

Box 7: If this box is checked, then at least some amount of tuition is for the academic period January-May 2014 (Spring Semester 2013). It is common for a student to register, be billed, and pay tuition for Spring Semester in November or December of the previous year.

Box 8: If this box is checked, then the student has enrolled at least half time (5 credits for graduates, 6 credits for undergraduates) for at least one semester during 2013.

Box 9: If this box is checked, then the student is a graduate student at any time during 2013.

What are qualified education expenses?

  • Tuition and fees that are required to enroll at Western Carolina University
  • Books and supplies that are required for course instruction. (Caution: Since the University cannot track any amounts paid for books and supplies, no amount for books and supplies will be on the 1098-T form. Please keep your receipts.)

Some expenses that are NOT qualified for the 1098-T:

  • Housing and meal plans
  • Transportation Fee
  • Health Insurance Fees
  • Health Service Fee

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

1. Do I need to complete a 1098-T form?

No, the 1098-T form is completed by the University.

2. Why did I not receive a 1098-T?

Western Carolina University is not required to furnish a 1098-T for the following reasons:

  • Students who take classes where no academic credit is offered even if the student is otherwise enrolled in a degree program;
  • Students who are nonresident aliens for income tax purposes (unless requested by the student);
  • Students whose qualified tuition and related expenses are entirely waived or paid entirely with grants and scholarship; and
  • Students for whom Western Carolina University does not maintain separate financial account information and whose qualified tuition and related expenses are covered by a formal billing arrangement between the University and either the student's employer or a governmental entity, such as the Department of Veteran Affairs or the Department of Defense.

Some of the most common reasons for not receiving a 1098-T are :

  • Western Carolina University does not have your social security number. This information is required for 1098-T reporting.
  • Western Carolina University does not have your valid address
  • The student's qualified tuition and related expenses are entirely waived or covered by scholarships and grants.

3. My last semester was Spring 2013. Am I going to receive a 1098-T form for 2013?

We are required to report transactions by calendar year (January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013).

For most students, tuition charges for Spring 2013 semester were posted to the student's account before January 1, 2013. Therefore, those charges were stated on the 2012 1098-T form. Transactions regarding late adds and financial aid posted after January 1, 2013 are stated on the 2013 1098-T.

To summarize, for most students:

Regular tuition charges for Spring 2013 semester are posted on the 2012 1098-T form.

Late adjustments and financial aid awarded after January 1 are posted on the 2013 1098-T form.

4. Is my financial aid reported on the 1098-T?

Scholarships, grants, waivers, and anything that is not required to be paid back, that are processed through the University are reported in Box 5 on the 1098-T. Loans are not reported on the 1098-T.

5. What are the educational tax benefits that the IRS offers?

Some of the tax benefits the IRS offers are:

American Opportunity Credit - A student may take a credit up to $2,500 (with up to $1,000 refundable). The student must have been enrolled at least half-time for any semester during 2013, which can be verified if Box 8 on the 1098-T has been checked.

The list of qualified expenses has been expanded to include "course materials", or books, supplies, and equipment needed for a course study. Caution: for the purposes of this credit, the 1098-T may not reflect the total qualified expenses based on information available. This credit is available for students who are in their first four years of post-secondary education.

Lifetime Learning Credit - A taxpayer may take up to $2,000 (20% of the first $10,000 in expenses) credit per tax return, not per student. The credit is available for all years of postsecondary education and courses to acquire or improve job skills.

Tuition and Fees Deduction - Up to $4,000 may be deducted from income for qualified expenses. Expenses that do not qualify for these benefits include insurance, medical expenses, room and board, and expenses for non-credit courses.

For details, check out IRS Publication 970.

6. I am an international student; do I need a 1098-T?

It depends whether you are a nonresident alien for federal income tax purposes. Nonresident aliens are generally not eligible for educational tax benefits.

Only you and your tax consultant can determine if you are eligible for any of the above tax benefits. The University cannot advise you on your tax situation.

7. Is there a payment required when the 1098-T is received?

Absolutely not! The 1098-T is not a bill from the University.

Remember, the 1098-T is completed by the University; you do not complete the 1098-T.

8. I pay thousands of dollars to participate in a foreign exchange program. Why does this amount not show up on my 1098-T form?

Most likely what you are paying for is travel expenses. Travel is not included on the 1098-T because for most tax benefits, travel is not an allowable expense.  

Other Questions?

Please email us at ossss@wcu.edu.

Regarding tax information,

You can also call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040, Monday-Friday, 7:00 AM - 10:00 PM or visit the web site at http://www.irs.gov/.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this page is general information only. We are not personal tax preparers and cannot give any personal tax advice. For tax preparation advice, please consult your tax advisor.

 

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