Tax Benefits for Education
Frequently Asked Questions
As required by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Form 1098-T is mailed by Jan. 31 to all students who had qualified tuition and other related educational expenses billed to them during the previous calendar year, with one exception. International students (nonresident aliens) will be provided a 1098-T form, ONLY if the University has a Social Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) in the Student Information System for them.
The 1098-T form is informational only and should not be considered as tax advice. It serves to alert students that they may be eligible for federal income tax education credits such as the Lifetime Learning Credit and the American Opportunity Credit as part of their Federal Income Tax Return. IRS Publication 970, "Tax Benefits for Education," as well as Chapter 35 of IRS Publication 17, provide additional information on these credits. The 1098-T, as designed and regulated by the IRS, may not contain all of the information needed to claim a tax credit. To determine the amount of qualified tuition and fees paid, and the amount of scholarships and grants received, a taxpayer should also use their own financial records. There is no IRS requirement that you must claim the tuition and fees deduction or an education credit. Claiming education tax benefits is a voluntary decision for those who may qualify.
FORM 1098-T FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
- What is a 1098-T?
The 1098-T form 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, taxpayer's identification number (TIN), enrollment status, amounts pertaining to qualified tuition and related expenses, and scholarships and/or grants, taxable or not.
- Why did I receive a Form 1098-T?
In January of each year, the University of Wisconsin System provides secure electronic access at https://www.getmydocument.com to an IRS Form 1098-T for all students who had qualified tuition and other related educational expenses billed to them during the previous calendar year. If the form is not electronically accessed, it is mailed at the end of January.
- Why was a form 1098-T not issued for me?
A 1098-T form will not be issued if your full amount of tuition and fees equaled your total scholarships, grants and third party payments or if your full tuition and fees were waived and you didn't receive any scholarships or grants. Also, if you are an international student (typically on F-1 and J-1 visa) and you didn't have a valid Social Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) on file with the University, a 1098-T will not be issued for you. (Please refer to question 17, if you believe you should have received a paper 1098-T in the mail).
- I’m an international student (nonresident alien) and I need a 1098-T, however I was NOT issued one, how can I get a 1098-T?
If you are an international student with 1098-T reportable transactions for the past year and you were not issued a 1098-T, it means the University does not have a SSN or ITIN on file for you in the Student Information System. If you do have a SSN or ITIN please complete Form W-9S and drop off your signed and dated form at the Bursar's Office by July 15. If you do not have a SSN/ITIN, please visit the following two links ITIN or SSN to determine which one you qualify for and how to apply for it. Once you’ve received your SSN/ITIN, please complete the W-9S form above and return it to our office.
- I’m an international student and I plan to apply for ITIN/SSN, do I still have time to request a 1098-T for the past year?
The Bursar’s Office will only issue 1098-T for the previous calendar year, up to July 15 of the following year. If you plan to apply for an SSN or ITIN, please do this as soon as possible as there may be a long processing time. Once you receive your number please complete Form W-9S and drop off your signed and dated form to the Bursar's Office by July 15. If you update your SSN/ITIN in the Student Information System through some other method, you need to contact the Bursar’s Office by July 15 and ask to have a 1098-T issued for you.
- Did the University send a copy of this form to the IRS?
Yes. Section 6050S of the Internal Revenue Code, as enacted by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, requires institutions to file information returns to assist taxpayers and the IRS in determining the amount of qualified tuition and related expenses (qualified expenses) for which an education tax credit is allowable under section 25A (Hope and Lifetime Learning education tax credits), as well as other tax benefits for higher education expenses.
- I misplaced my copy of the Form 1098-T. How do I get a reprint of my 1098-T form?
You can securely access an electronic copy of your form 1098-T at https://www.getmydocument.com at any time. A new link has been added to your Student Center which will connect you to the Getmydocument.com website. The “1098T Tax Form Retrieval” link can be found under the “Finances” heading in your Student Center. If students have trouble accessing their 1098-T, they can call (800) 756-4311. Service representatives are available Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time.
- Why isn't there an amount in Box 1?
The IRS instructs institutions to report either payments received (Box 1) or amounts billed for qualified tuition and related expenses (Box 2) on the 1098-T. Once an institution has selected one of these options, they cannot change reporting methods between calendar years without IRS permission. The University of Wisconsin reports qualified tuition and related expenses that were billed during the tax year (Box 2); therefore, Box 1 - Payments Received for Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses will be blank.
- For purposes of Box 2, what educational expenses are considered as qualified tuition and related expenses?
Qualified tuition and related expenses refer to tuition and required fees, such as segregated fees and course fees a student must pay to be enrolled at or attend an eligible educational institution. Tuition waivers and remissions are considered reductions to qualified tuition and expenses. Qualified expenses do not include: housing, food, books, student health fees, or transportation expenses.
- Do the "Amounts Billed" figures in Box 2 of my 1098-T equal the "Qualified Expenses" I can claim on my IRS Form 8863 as I file my taxes?
Not necessarily. The University is required to provide the "amounts billed" and "scholarship or grant” figures to help you determine the amount of qualified expenses you can claim on your IRS Form 8863. Per Internal Revenue Code Section 25A, taxpayers may claim an education tax credit only with respect to qualified tuition and related expenses paid (not billed) during the calendar year. You will need to review your payment records to determine the actual qualified expenses paid. Remember that qualified amounts paid by student loans may count as payments eligible for these purposes. Scholarships and grants received may reduce your eligible payment amounts. See IRS Publication 970 for information to determine your qualified expenses paid amount.
- What amounts appear in Box 4 - Adjustments made for a prior year?
This box shows the amount of any tuition and fees reductions in the current calendar year for charges that were billed in a previous calendar year.
- How did the University figure out what amounts to include in Form 1098-T Box 5 - Scholarships or Grants?
The figure in Box 5 - Scholarships or Grants includes scholarships, grants and, if applicable, payments made by a third party under a formal billing arrangement (i.e., outside scholarships, employer provided educational assistance [regardless of taxability], military, etc.) which have been administered by the University of Wisconsin Madison. If you received other forms of outside scholarships and grants not administered by the University of Wisconsin Madison, it is your responsibility to adjust the figure accordingly. Third party payments do not include payments made by your parent, other individuals, or AmeriCorps.
- I am being taxed on my employer provided educational assistance. Why should this be considered a scholarship or grant?
The University of Wisconsin Madison does not determine whether your education benefits are being taxed by your employer. As such, scholarships and grants are increased by 100% of any employer provided payments under a formal billing arrangement, and it is up to the student to adjust their qualified tuition and related expenses accordingly based on the taxability of their employer benefits.
- What amounts appear in Box 6 - Adjustments to scholarships or grants for a prior year?
This box shows the amount of any scholarship, grant and, if applicable, third party reductions in the current calendar year for aid that was credited in a previous calendar year.
- Why is there no check mark in box 8 - at least part-time?
Box 8 will not be checked if you were not enrolled at a half-time status during an academic period which is either enrolled or billed during the calendar year. The University of Wisconsin Madison checks this box if you were half-time or more for at least one term beginning during the year. This information might be important in determining certain tax credits.
- What is the purpose of Box 9 – graduate student?
Box 9 will be checked if you were enrolled as a graduate student for at least one academic period during the calendar year. If Box 9 is checked, it alerts the IRS to the fact that certain credits may not be available for the student’s qualified expenses.
- I did not keep information on my payments and student loan disbursements. Where can I get copies?
This information may be found on your student tuition account or on-line billing statement history in the Student Center in MyUW at http://my.wisc.edu . If you are a parent looking for this information for a student, please ask your student to access this information for you.
- My name listed on the 1098-T has changed. What do I need to do to correct it?
Your name is a key element on your tax information. Contact the Registrar's Office about changing your name so that the University has up-to-date information. Once you have changed your name, please contact the Bursar's Office to have your 1098-T updated.
- I have not received my paper 1098-T. What address was it mailed to?
If you successfully viewed the electronic version of the 1098-T at http://my.wisc.edu, you will not receive a paper 1098-T in the mail. Any unviewed electronic forms are mailed to the student’s mailing address (or home address if a mailing address is not on file) as maintained by the student in the Student Center in MyUW at http://my.wisc.edu.
- Can I change my address on the https://www.getmydocument.com
Yes, however those changes do not change your records at campus. You should update your address in the Student Center in MyUW at http://my.wisc.edu so that the University has up-to-date information.
- My address listed on the 1098-T has changed. Will this affect me when I file my tax return?
No. The address shown on Form 1098-T is irrelevant for IRS income tax filing purposes. However, you should update your address in the Student Center in MyUW at http://my.wisc.edu so that the University has up-to-date information.
- What if my 1098-T has the incorrect social security number on it?
The single most important information on the form is your Social Security Number. Please contact the Registrar's Office about updating your Social Security Number. Once your SSN has been updated, please contact the Bursar's Office so that we can correct your 1098-T.
- What if my 1098-T has all X’s or is blank in the social security number field?
The single most important information on the form is your Social Security Number. This means that the University does not have a Social Security Number on file with your student record and your 1098-T form is not complete for you to use in filing your tax return. If you are a student who needs to file taxes in the U.S., you may update your SSN in the Student Center through MyUW. If you have any questions about this process, please contact the Registrar's Office. Once you have changed your SSN in the Student Center, please contact the Bursar's Office so that we can correct your 1098-T.
- I am a foreign student; can I claim a credit?
Generally, foreign students cannot claim a credit. However, some foreign students may be eligible. Review IRS forms, instructions, and publications for guidance.
- I'm an international student and I just received an ITIN. How can I obtain a 1098-T that reflects my new ITIN?
The Bursar’s Office will issue 1098-Ts for the previous calendar year, up to July 15 of the following year. If you have received your ITIN prior to this date, please complete Form W-9S and drop off your signed and dated form to the Bursar's Office or in one of our drop boxes located in Student Services Tower at 333 East Campus Mall (Please do NOT email the forms). Once we've received your form and updated your records, we will issue you a 1098-T form that reflects your ITIN.
Dropbox – 1st floor lobby near elevators
Dropbox – 10th floor near Bursar's Office #10501
333 East Campus Mall # 10501
Madison, WI 53715-1383