1098-T (Tax Form)
University of Central Florida (UCF) staff cannot give tax advice or assist students in calculating individual credit amounts. Please consult a tax adviser for assistance.
UCF has partnered with ECSI to deliver Form 1098-T Tuition Statements for tax reporting.
Form 1098-T is used to assist students in determining eligibility for an Education Tax Credit. It is an annual statement that provides a student with the amount of tuition payments made for Qualified Tuition and Related Expense on the account during the calendar year. Your personal financial records serve as official supporting documentation for a federal tax return.
Students who elect to receive an electronic Form 1098-T may access it via the MyUCF Portal any time after January 25th (estimated date). Otherwise, a paper copy will be sent via the U.S. Postal Service no later than January 31st to the mailing address.
To opt-in for electronic delivery (fastest way to receive your Form 1098-T):
- Log into the MyUCF Portal.
- Click on Student Self Service.
- Scroll to the Finances Section.
- Click on 1098-T Tax Management.
- Click on the Opt-In Icon.
- Click on the View Print Form Icon This brings you to the ECSI website.
- Click on Tax Information.
- Select the year to view.
Education Tax Credits
Education tax credits — such as the American Opportunity Credit and Lifetime Learning Credit — can help eligible students and their parents offset the cost of higher education by reducing the amount of income tax they owe. Read below to find out which of these credits might be best for you. Keep in mind that you can’t claim both credits for the same student or same qualifying expense.
The American Opportunity Tax Credit
Here are a few facts about the AOTC:
- The credit is worth up to $2,500 per eligible student and is partially refundable — up to $1,000 if your tax is zero.
- It’s available for the first 4 years of postsecondary education (which is education beyond high school, generally meaning college).
- The student must be pursuing a degree or other recognized education credential and be enrolled at least half time for at least one academic period that begins during the tax year.
The AOTC also allows students to claim tuition, required enrollment fees and course materials needed for a course of study whether or not the materials are bought at the educational institution as a condition of enrollment or attendance.
For more information regarding the American Opportunity Tax Credit, please review the IRS website at: https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/individuals/aotc.
The Lifetime Learning Credit
The Lifetime Learning Credit differs from the AOTC in a few ways:
- It’s entirely nonrefundable. This means the credit reduces your tax and is limited to the amount of tax you owe.
- The maximum credit amount per tax return is $2,000. It doesn’t matter how many eligible students are on your tax return — you can only take up to $2,000.
- This credit is available for all years of postsecondary education and for courses taken to acquire or improve job skills.
- You don’t need to be pursuing a degree or other recognized education credential to claim the credit.
Like the AOTC, the Lifetime Learning Credit allows students to claim the tuition and fees required for enrollment or attendance, including amounts required to be paid to the institution for course-related books, supplies and equipment.
For more information regarding the Lifetime Learning Credit, please review the IRS website at: https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/individuals/llc.
Coordination with Pell Grants and Other Scholarships
You may be able to increase your lifetime learning credit when the student (you, your spouse, or your dependent) includes certain scholarships or fellowship grants in the student’s gross income. Your credit may increase only if the amount of the student’s qualified education expenses minus the total amount of scholarships and fellowship grants is less than $10,000. If this situation applies, consider including some or all of the scholarship or fellowship grant in the student’s income in order to treat the included amount as paying nonqualified expenses instead of qualified education expenses. Nonqualified expenses are expenses such as room and board that aren’t qualified education expenses such as tuition and related fees.
Scholarships and fellowship grants that the student includes in income don’t reduce the student’s qualified education expenses available to figure your lifetime learning credit. Thus, including enough scholarship or fellowship grant in the student’s income to report up to $10,000 in qualified education expenses for your lifetime learning credit may increase the credit by enough to increase your tax refund or reduce the amount of tax you owe even considering any increased tax liability from the additional income. However, the increase in tax liability as well as the loss of other tax credits may be greater than the additional lifetime learning credit and may cause your tax refund to decrease or the amount of tax you owe to increase. Your specific circumstances will determine what amount, if any, of scholarship or fellowship grant to include in income to maximize your tax refund or minimize the amount of tax you owe.
The scholarship or fellowship grant must be one that may qualify as a tax-free scholarship under the rules discussed in chapter 1. Also, the scholarship or fellowship grant must be one that may (by its terms) be used for nonqualified expenses. Finally, the amount of the scholarship or fellowship grant that is applied to nonqualified expenses can’t exceed the amount of the student’s actual nonqualified expenses that are paid in the tax year. This amount may differ from the student’s living expenses estimated by the student’s school in figuring the official cost of attendance under student aid rules.
The fact that the educational institution applies the scholarship or fellowship grant to qualified education expenses, such as tuition and related fees, doesn’t prevent the student from choosing to apply certain scholarships or fellowship grants to the student’s actual nonqualified expenses. By making this choice (that is, by including the part of the scholarship or fellowship grant applied to the student’s nonqualified expenses in income), the student may increase taxable income and may be required to file a tax return. But this allows payments made in cash, by check, by credit or debit card, or with borrowed funds such as a student loan to be applied to qualified education expenses.
Parents or students claiming either credit should receive a Form 1098-T, Tuition Statement, from their educational institution. You should make sure it is complete and correct.
Check out Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education, and Form 8863, Education Credits (Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits), to learn more.
The IRS is now accepting Form 8863, Education Credits.
To access 1098-T information from the Internal Revenue Service, please click on the links below:
Tax Benefits for Education: Information Center
Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants, and Tuition Reductions
Form 1098-T Tuition Statement Information from IRS
For information regarding Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants, Tuition Reductions, Student Loan Interest Deduction, Student Loan Cancellation and Repayment Assistance and Tuition and Fees Deduction, please visit the IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education at: https://www.irs.gov/publications/p970.
NOTE: The university cannot advise you on your tax situation; only you and your tax professional can determine your eligibility for a credit.
FOR MORE TAX INFORMATION – consult your tax professional or refer to the following:
Internal Revenue website: http://www.irs.gov/
Publication 970: Tax Benefits for Higher Education: http://www.irs.gov/publications/p970/index.html