Lifetime Learning & American Opportunity Tax Credit

Lifetime Learning & American Opportunity Tax Credit – Form 1098T

Universities and colleges are required to issue the Form 1098-T Tuition Statement for the purpose of determining a student's eligibility for the American Opportunity Credit (renamed the already existing Hope Credit) and Lifetime Learning education tax credits. For more information on the American Opportunity Tax Credit, please refer to the IRS web site. This form is informational only. The Form 1098-T 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.

Form 1098-T is mailed each year by the end of January to those students who had tuition and fee charges in the preceding calendar year and may be used in income tax filings. It should not be considered as tax opinion or advice. Please give this form to your tax preparer to determine if you are eligible for any tax credits.

IRS Tax Benefits for Education

IRS Taxpayer Advice by Telephone: 1-800-829-1040, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. (hours in Alaska and Hawaii may vary).

Disclaimer: This material has not been approved by the IRS or the U.S. Treasury and is not an official document. It is offered as a service to the LIU students and families. This is not an official form nor does it necessarily represent official policy of LIU. 



FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q1: What am I supposed to do with the Form 1098-T?
Keep it for your records. Since the University sends your Form 1098-T information to the IRS, there is no need to attach a copy of the form to your tax return. The information contained in the Form 1098-T will help you to determine if you may claim the American Opportunity (renamed the already existing Hope Credit) or the Lifetime Learning education tax credits.

Q2: What is LIU's Federal Tax Identification number?

The Federal Tax Identification number for LIU is 11-1633516.
The LIU School Code is JP. 

Q3: Do I have to do anything now?

You must keep the University's Registrar's Office informed of your correct name, social security number and address for tax reporting purposes. If you move or change your name between now and next February, you must keep the school informed of your new name or address. In future years, you may be required to provide additional information, such as the name, address, and social security number of the person eligible to claim you each year as tax dependent. When the time comes, LIU will provide a form so that the taxpayer can let the University know the relevant information for tax reporting purposes.

  • IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE that payment of "qualified tuition and related expenses" is only one of several criteria considered when determining eligibility for either tax credit.
Q4: Where can I access my payment information?
Your personal statement of payments for qualified tuition and related expenses, and grants, scholarships and fellowships, for the tax year will be available through the www.ecsi.net/taxinfo.html or call 1-866-428-1098.

Your 9-digit social security number and Tax Relief Financial Disclosure Information for 2015 will be displayed > Tax Relief Disclosure Form. Qualifying Charges Paid, Total Fees Paid and Total Grants and Scholarships for the periods of January 1 to June 30, and July 1 to December 2015 will be displayed to assist you in determining your tax credit, if any. This information can be used to assist the taxpayer in calculating his or her out of pocket expenses, since for the tax year 2015, the taxpayer will be responsible to calculate out of pocket expenses. According to the IRS, the University is not responsible to determine a student's eligibility or out-of-pocket payments on qualified tuition and fees for the 2015 tax year. 

Q5: The Social Security (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) Number on my Form 1098-T is missing or incorrect. What should I do?
Reporting to the IRS depends primarily on your SSN, so it is very important for you to have the correct information on file with the University. Please complete Form W-9S which can be printed from the IRS Web site and submit Form W-9S along with a copy of your LIU ID to the Office of the Registrar for your Campus to ensure the data we send to the IRS is accurate.

Q6: Why is Box 1 blank?
Box 1 – Payments received for qualified tuition and related expenses will be blank for all LIU students. Schools are directed to choose a method of reporting, either by reporting the payments received for qualified tuition in Box 1 or by reporting the amounts billed for qualified tuition and related expenses in Box 2. LIU has chosen the latter method. This does not mean your "payments received for qualified tuition and related expenses" are zero. To review all payments and other credits applied to your account during the year please review your account on  myLIU.

Q7: What does an amount in Box 4 mean?
Box 4 - Adjustments made for a prior year shows an amount if qualified tuition and related expenses that were reported on a 1098-T for a prior year were subsequently adjusted or reduced in the current tax year.

Q8: What does an amount in Box 5 mean?
Box 5 - Scholarships or grants shows the net amount of certain forms of educational assistance that was received or applied to your student account during the tax year (January - December), regardless of the term for which the funds were originally intended. Any subsequent adjustments or reductions to educational assistance that occurred in the same tax year are summed into the amount. The net amount is sent to the IRS.

Q9: What does an amount in Box 6 mean?
Box 6 - Adjustments to Scholarships or grants for a prior year shows an amount if scholarships or grants that were reported on a 1098-T for a prior year were subsequently adjusted or reduced in the current tax year.

Q10: What does the check mark in Box 8 mean?

Box 8 - Check if you are at least a half-time student. This indicates that you were considered to be enrolled at least half-time for one or more terms during the tax year.

Q11: What does the check mark in Box 9 mean?
Box 9 - Check if you are a graduate student. This indicates that you were enrolled in a graduate program for one or more terms during the tax year. The university checks this box if you attended as a graduate student for any term of your enrollment during the tax year.

Q12: Do I need to report my scholarships as taxable income?
Scholarships that pay for qualified tuition and related expenses are not taxable to the student. However, if any portion of your scholarships paid for non-qualified expenses, then you may be responsible for reporting such portion as taxable income on your tax return. For further guidance, please review IRS Publication 970, ‘Tax Benefits for Education’ at the IRS Web site.

Q13: How are late fees reported on my Form 1098-T?
Fees charged for late registration and/or late payment are shown as non-qualified expenses, and are not reported anywhere on your Form 1098-T.

Q14: How can I get a copy of my 1098-T?
Visit ecsi.net/taxinfo.html and/or call 1-866-428-1098, you will need your social security number.
 

Q15: Can I get a copy of last year's Form 1098-T?
Yes, provided that a form was issued to you. Follow the instructions above for getting a copy of your Form 1098-T, making sure to select the tax year of interest from the drop-down menu Box. Please note, the current tax year appears in the window by default.

IRS Publication 970 explains qualifying tuition and fees, and payments. To receive the American Opportunity Tax Credit or Lifetime Learning Credit, you must account for and document the amount you have paid for tuition and expenses on IRS Form 8863 and file with your federal tax return. You do not file Form 1098-T with your tax return.

For additional information, please consult the IRS Web site or call the Internal Revenue Service at 1-800-829-1040.