In 1997, the Taxpayer Relief Act established two education tax credits and a deduction for student loan interest. These credits are explained in detail in Publication 970 from the IRS. Eligible educational institutions such as colleges or universities are subject to the IRS reporting requirements of Form 1098T Tuition Statement. Therefore, we must report for each student enrolled for whom a reportable transaction is made during the pertaining calendar year.
A reportable transaction is any payment received by us for qualified tuition and related expenses billed in the calendar year. Prior to the 2018 tax year, eligible institutions were permitted to choose whether to report “payments received” (box 1) or “amounts billed for qualified tuition and related expenses” (box 2). However, effective with the 2018 tax year, institutions are now required to report “payments received” (box 1) and we will no longer be reporting qualified tuition and related expenses (box 2). Box 2 will be blank.
Login to your “MyGCC” account to obtain a detailed listing of qualified tuition and related expenses related to any payments made in the 2018 tax year (January 1 through December 31). These charges will be listed just below “Payments Received”.
When filing a federal tax return, you (the student), or a person who can claim you as a dependent, may be eligible for an education tax credit for qualified tuition, fees, and related expenses that were actually paid out of pocket during the pertaining calendar year. The 1098T form provides information that will assist in determining eligibility for a tax credit when preparing a federal tax return. Receiving the 1098T form does not mean you necessarily qualify for a tax credit. If you have questions about how to calculate your education tax credit, you should consult your tax professional or reference the IRS website at: www.irs.gov. GCC cannot offer advice on tax matters.
The IRS requires us to mail your 1098T tax form by January 31. All tax statements were mailed on January 29. A representation of the actual form is now available for viewing on your “MyGCC” account.
Anyone who had a reportable transaction described in question one.
Login to your MyGCC account. Once logged in, access the “Tax Notification” page within the “Billing” menu. The first sentence located in the paragraph just above your 1098T representation will indicate whether the form was sent to you. If we did not send the form to you, the second sentence will state so.
The IRS mandates that 1098T tax forms be mailed to your permanent address. Therefore, we urge you to check your address on your “MyGCC” account to verify that it is the correct permanent address. If you have not previously provided your permanent address or if your permanent address is no longer active in our system, your 1098T form will be mailed to your mailing address. If we do not have a permanent address or a mailing address, your 1098T form was mailed to whatever active address we have on file that was previously provided by you. A representation of your 1098T form is included on your “MyGCC” account. The address where your 1098T form was sent is included on the form.
The fastest way to obtain your 1098T information is to login to your “MyGCC” account and print the page containing your 1098T representation. Note: the form shown on your “MyGCC” account is not an official copy of your 1098T form. It is merely a representation of your original form. You are responsible for providing the 1098T form information to your Tax Preparer. We do not send your 1098T information to any third party.
If we do not have your social security number on file, this means you did not provide it to us. Therefore, it will not be included on your 1098T tax form. When we do not have your social security number on file, we are required by the IRS to attempt to obtain it from you. A W-9S form, the official IRS form used for requesting your social security number, should have been sent to you on at least three occasions by mail and email simultaneously between the months of August through November. If you did not respond to any of our requests, your 1098T form will not contain a social security number.
Failure to furnish correct SSN or ITIN.
Per IRS regulations, if you failed to furnish your correct SSN or ITIN to the requester (GCC), you are subject to a penalty of $50.00 unless your failure is due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect.
We are not required to report to the IRS or to furnish a 1098T form to you, if:
- You were enrolled in courses for which no academic credit was offered, even if you were otherwise enrolled in a degree program.
- You were a nonresident alien (unless you specifically requested a 1098T).
- Your qualified tuition and related expenses were entirely waived or paid by scholarships, grants, or third parties such as employer or federal/state government agency.
- The school does not maintain a separate financial account for you and your qualified tuition and related expenses are covered by a formal billing arrangement between GCC and your employer or a government entity, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Department of Defense.
Below is a brief explanation of the form contents:
Box 1- Payments Received for Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses:
Contains the total amount of payments received for Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses from all sources during the calendar year, less any refunds or reimbursements issued to you in the same calendar year. Payments from all sources include:
- All out-of-pocket payments (cash, debit/credit card, checks, or e-checks)
- All financial aid grants and scholarships payments
- All student loan payments
- All third party payments made by employers, government agencies, etc.
- The amount shown in box 1 consists of Payments Received for Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses from all sources. It is not necessarily the amount that was paid out-of-pocket toward QTR.
- The total amount of payments from all sources is reduced by amounts of any refunds or reimbursements made to you in the calendar year. The net result is your adjusted amount of Payments Received for Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses.
- However, the adjusted total amount of Payments Received for Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses (QTR) reported in box 1 cannot exceed the total amount of Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses (QTR) for the 2018 calendar year. Therefore, if total payments from all sources exceeds QTR, the total Payments Received amount will be reduced down to the QTR amount and will be reported in box 1. See box 2 for QTR explanation.
- If you registered for the spring 2019 semester at the end of the 2018 calendar year and payments were made for those charges in 2018, box 1 will include those payments for Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses.
- Tax year 2018 is our first year of an IRS mandated change in reporting methods. For previous tax years, we reported Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses in box 2. We are now required to report Payments Received for Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses in box 1. Because this is our first year of the change in reporting methods, payments received in 2018 for Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses billed in a previous tax year will not be included in box 1, since there are no qualified charges associated with those payments in 2018. Therefore, we advise you to consult with a tax professional to determine your best option for reporting such payments. Additionally, you should gather any supporting documentation showing that you had Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses in a previous year related to the payments made in the 2018 tax year. It is very important that you gather and attach all supporting documentation to your copy of your tax return for your records in order to verify legitimate payments made in 2018 for prior year eligible charges.
- If there is an amount entered in box 5 (Scholarships or grants), and it equals or exceeds the amount in box 1 (Payments Received for Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses), we will not send you a 1098T because it is assumed that all of your QTR was paid by financial aid, scholarships, and/or third party payments and you incurred no out-of-pocket expenses.
Box 2- Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses/QTR (Prior to tax year 2018):
Since GCC can no longer report Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses, this box is left blank beginning with the 2018 tax year. However, Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses is used in the calculation to determine the amount of Payments Received for Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses shown in box 1 as follows:
- Since waivers and tuition remissions are considered to be a reduction in total charges, the sum of tuition remission and waivers posted to your account in the 2018 calendar year will reduce your Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses by the same amount.
- The result will be your final Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses that is used to calculate the amount in box 1. To review the detailed amounts of Qualified Tuition and Related expenses and tuition remission and waivers, see the breakdown of this data on your “MyGCC” account located in the Tax Notification section accessed under the Billing menu.
Box 3: This box is used to indicate that we (GCC) changed our reporting method for the 2018 tax year as required by the IRS. We are now reporting Payments Received for Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses (box 1) rather than Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses (box 2).
Box 4: Due to the change in reporting methods, for the 2018 tax year only, this box is left blank. In subsequent years this box will show reimbursements or refunds of qualified tuition and related expenses made in the relevant reporting period that relate to payments received that were reported for any prior year after 2002.
Since prior to the 2018 tax year, we were reporting amounts amounts of Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses billed, we cannot report reimbursements or refunds of qualified tuition made during 2018 because the amount would not have been reported by GCC for the previous calendar year.
Box 5: This box contains the total amount of any scholarships, grants, or third party payments that were paid toward your cost of attendance during the 2018 calendar year. If you received an increased financial aid award, scholarship, or third party payment in 2018 for any previously reported tax year, those amounts will be included in this box as well.
Box 6: If there were any financial aid grants, scholarships, or third party payment reductions posted to your account in 2018 for any previously reported year after 2002, those adjustments will show in this box. This amount is reported as a positive number per IRS requirements. However, it is actually a decrease to an amount that was reported in box 5 of a prior year’s 1098-T.
Box 7: If any payments received for Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses reported in box 1 relate to the academic period that begins in January through March of the next year, this box will be checked.
Box 8: If you were at least a half-time student (6 credits) during any academic period that began in the year being reported in your 1098-T, this box will be checked.
Box 9 and 10: These boxes do not apply to GCC or GCC current/former students.
The detailed breakdown is available online. To view the detailed breakdown, log on to your MyGCC account under Tax Notification.
In addition to my 1098T information, is additional information regarding my tuition and fee account activity available to assist in the preparation of my tax return?
It is the responsibility of the student or the person claiming a tax credit to retain financial records needed for tax preparation. It is not up to the school to provide payment records. However, supplementary information is included on your “MyGCC” account. The supplementary information includes individual transactions that occurred during the pertaining calendar year for the following categories: Student Loans, Payments (cash, check, credit card), and Refunds (excess financial aid and cash, check, & credit card overpayments).
If you have additional questions about your 1098T tax form, call the GCC Student Billing Office at 413-775-1301 or contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes. We are required to submit an electronic version of your 1098T information to the IRS by 2/28/19. We have already submitted our file and are awaiting confirmation of final approval and processing. The IRS uses the file to match information they receive via your tax return.
You should consult your tax professional for assistance with tax return preparation and claiming an educational tax credit/benefit. For basic tax assistance, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program is generally available on campus in February and March to assist students and the general public with tax return preparation. This is a free program offered to students and citizens of the local community. Do not call the VITA Program seeking explanation or clarification of data provided on your 1098T form. And do not call the GCC Student Billing (Bursar’s) Office to schedule VITA appointments or to seek tax advice. Contact GCC’s Business and Information Technology Department directly for information about the VITA program.
The VITA program will not be running this year.
NOTE: The VITA program is not associated with the GCC Student Billing (Bursar’s) Office.
IRS Tax preparation information resources and assistance:
- IRS website: http://www.irs.gov/
- IRS Publication 970 – Information on the Hope Scholarship Credit and Lifetime learning Credit: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p970.pdf
- IRS Form 8863, Education Credits (Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits): http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8863.pdf
- IRS Telephone Assistance Hotline: 1-800-829-1040
- IRS American Opportunity Tax Credit: Questions and Answers: http://www.irs.gov/uac/American-Opportunity-Tax-Credit:-Questions-and-Answers