Tax credits can help you offset the cost of college

The federal government has established two tax credits intended to help you offset the costs of higher education by reducing the amount of your income tax according to 2018 IRS Publication 970. They are the American Opportunity Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit. Additional information concerning these tax credits may be obtained from the IRS website.

Washburn on a warm spring event as the sun sets

Washburn provides 1098-T forms

In order to assist you in claiming these tax credits, Washburn annually provides enrolled students with a Form 1098-T that supplies part of the information required to complete the necessary tax forms.  Forms are not required for students who are non-resident aliens or for students taking non-credit courses.  Please note that the Form 1098-T may not provide all of the information needed to determine eligibility for tax credits and deductions.  Eligibility for any tax benefit depends on your individual facts and circumstances.

ECSI is the company Washburn uses to assist in complying with Form 1098-T requirements. After the forms are processed in January of each year, they are available online for those students who opt-in for electronic delivery (an email is sent to students in November of each year with instructions on how to opt-in to ECSI).  If a student does not opt-in before December 31, the form is mailed by the end of January each year as required by the IRS.  Additional copies are available on the Financial Services tab of MyWashburn.  Details of the amounts included on the 1098-T form are shown on the same page.

A student's address is required for the preparation of the form.  Forms are issued first to a student's permanent address, and if none is available to a student's current address. To update either address, students can sign into MyWashburn and then go to the "Update Your Address Information" link on the Financial Services tab.

A student's Social Security Number (SSN) is required for the preparation of the form.  If we do not have your SSN on file and you wish to receive a 1098-T, please complete Part 1 of the Request for Student TIN form along with Part II or Part III depending on your circumstances.

Please note that your SSN will only be used for the purpose of preparing Form 1098-T. Completed forms can be brought to the Student One Stop in Morgan Hall or mailed to the address on the form.  

Please do not send the Request for Student TIN forms via email.  International students who are considered to be non-resident aliens for tax purposes may receive Form 1042-S rather than (or in addition to) Form 1098-T.

Frequently Asked Questions: 1098-T forms (beginning in tax year 2018)

Most students will see two boxes populated on their 1098-T, Box 1 (payments received for qualified tuition and related expenses) and Box 5 (scholarships or grants).  Some students may have Box 4 (adjustments made for a prior year) and Box 6 (adjustments to scholarships or grants for a prior year) populated as well.  All transactions on the 1098-T reflect activity that occurred within a calendar year, regardless of the year or term that the transaction affected.  If Box 7 is checked, it means that the Box 1 QTRE limit includes amounts assessed in the calendar year for an academic period beginning January through March of the next calendar year.

The 2018 1098-T includes the period from 1/1/2018 through 12/31/2018. Reporting activity on a calendar year basis can create a timing difference on the student's 1098-T which is most apparent during the first and fourth year of attendance. This difference can be caused by Spring semester activity being posted in different calendar years. Tuition may be assessed in December for the Spring semester; payments for tuition may be made in December but the associated scholarships and grants are not posted by the Financial Aid Office until January of the following year. The IRS requires institutions to report on form 1098-T in this manner.

Possibly.  The information for your form depends on the transaction dates of billing and payments received.  This can result in your amounts changing from tax year to tax year, even if your total credit hours and financial aid each term did not change. We are required to file a 1098-T for any enrolled students with a reportable transaction.

To check on whether you have a form for the tax year, sign into MyWashburn, go to the Financial Services tab, and click on the "1098-T Tax Information" link to look for the tax year you want.  If you do not have a form for that tax year, you will see the message "No tax notification exists for tax year."

Students can see the details on MyWashburn (the 1098-T link is on the lower right side of the Financial Services tab).  If you wish to see additional detail of charges billed or need information about any of the figures, please contact the Business Office at 785-670-1156 and request additional detail. This information cannot be sent out via email but can be discussed with students or authorized users (through WU-View or by FERPA release).  Printed pages will be sent through U.S. mail or can be picked up at the cashier window in Morgan 103.

Box 1 includes most payments applied to the student account, from the following categories:

  • Cash, check, credit card, debit card or electronic transfer payments, whether made in person, by mail, or online and recorded during the calendar year
  • Most financial aid disbursements, including loans, scholarships, grants or other awards applied in the calendar year
  • Deposits released to the student account in the calendar year
  • Third party payments, typically made by organizations whom the University is authorized to invoice and who send payment directly to the University
  • Refunds issued to students or parents (considered negative payments)

Refunds are considered negative payments for reporting purposes, so are included to offset the payments included.  If refunds were not included, we would overstate the payments made towards QTRE.

It helps first to understand the reportable amount is determined from two figures: 

1) Payments Received in the calendar year from all sources, and

2) Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses (QTRE) billed in the calendar year. 

The amount in Box 1 includes all payments received during the calendar year for QTRE, less any refunds issued during the calendar year, limited to the amount of QTRE billed during the calendar year. 

Example 1:  If a student was billed $2,000 in QTRE during 2018 and $1,000 in payments were received in 2018, Box 1 = $1,000. 

Example 2:  If a student was billed $2,000 in QTRE during 2018, $2,500 in payments were received in 2018, and $500 was refunded in 2018, Box 1 = $2,000. 

Example 3:  If a student was billed $2,000 in QTRE during 2018, $2,500 in payments were received in 2018, and $500 of those payments went towards books, Box 1 = $2,000 because books are not included in the QTRE figure and QTRE is limited to $2,000.

Example 4:  If a student was billed $2,000 in QTRE during 2018, no payments were received in 2018, and there were no reportable amounts in Box 4 or Box 6, no 1098-T form would be issued for 2018.  

Example 5:  If a student was billed $0 in QTRE during 2018 but made payments towards a prior year QTRE during 2018, no 1098-T form would be issued for 2018 because the qualified charges were reported to the IRS in a previous calendar year.

No.  The University does not include amounts paid for books in determining the QTRE.  You should consult with your tax advisor to determine if payments for books, equipment, or fees should be considered.

Payments made by check and received during the time the institution is closed for winter break will not be recorded until the the University reopens and will not be included in Box 1 until the following calendar year.

The figure in Box 5 includes all scholarships, grants and, if applicable, payments made by a third party under formal billing arrangements (i.e. employer provided educational assistance, military, etc.). Third party payments do not include payments made by a parent, grandparent or other individuals. Reporting in Box 5 has not changed from previous years.

The scholarships included in Box 1 must be able to be applied to QTRE.  Scholarships specifically designated to pay for books, insurance, housing, etc., cannot be included in payments received for QTRE.  (This is most common with athletes.)

Yes.  Some athletes may receive refunds for monthly room and board expenses and/or book scholarships that are not reportable in Box 1.  These refunds will affect the total amount reported in Box 1 because all refunds are considered "negative payments".  If you are an athlete who received a monthly room and board stipend and/or an athletic book scholarship, please contact the Business Office for assistance in determining the amount you can report.

In previous years, Box 2 reported amounts billed for qualified tuition and related expenses.  In 2018, the IRS required reporting in Box 1 the amounts paid for qualified tuition and related expense limited to QTRE charged in the calendar year.

The unpaid QTRE from 2018 will carryforward to the next calendar year and be included in the cap figure for QTRE in 2019.  

No.  Because of the significant change in reporting method for the 2018 1098-T, there is no carryforward of unpaid QTRE from any calendar years prior to 2018.  Additionally, because the 2017 1098-T reported QTRE charges billed in Box 2, the student may have included the 2017 QTRE on their tax form for that year.

Not in 2018.  Remember that the 1098-T form is an information return prepared with account data from the calendar year 2018 only.  You can make your tax preparer aware of the 2017 payment made towards 2018 QTRE.  It is the preparer's responsibility to determine if the 2017 payment qualifies.  

 

The 1098-T form is not a "plug and play" type form (like the W-2) where the figures should be entered and included on tax returns exactly as written.  The IRS requires us to issue the 1098-T forms for informational purposes only, and therefore it is up to the taxpayer to determine what amounts are deductible according to their circumstances.  Since we are required to report payments applied to QTRE only, Box 1 does not include payments made towards eligible educational expenses not included in the QTRE cap (books, etc.).  This has not changed from previous 1098-T reporting, when QTRE amounts billed were recorded in Box 2 and other non-QTRE expenses were not included in that figure.

 

Institutions are required to submit the 1098-T data file no later than March 31 of the year following the 1098-T reporting year.  If you filed your taxes earlier than that date, your 1098-T information will not be available at the IRS until the data file is submitted.  

If you are considering making a payment in the current calendar year towards a term that takes place in a future calendar year, please note that the 1098-T forms reports payments made in a calendar year up to the amount of qualified tuition and related expenses (QTRE) charged in a calendar year.  For example, if a payment is made in December for classes that do not begin until January, the payment will not be reported unless the tuition for the January classes are charged to the student account during the reporting year.  Most of the time this is not a problem because we assess Spring tuition during the previous December, but if a payment is received and the student has not yet enrolled and has no other charges in the calendar year in which the payment is made, the payment will not be reported.

Information provided on the 1098-T form (beginning in tax year 2018)

The IRS defines this as the amount of Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses (QTRE) paid during the calendar year, reportable up to the amount of QTRE charged during the year and may include QTRE for a term that begins in the 3 months following the end of the calendar year. Scholarships awarded to pay for housing costs or book charges only are not included in this figure. Please note that payments made by check and received during the time the institution is closed for the winter break will not be processed until January and will not be included in the figure in Box 1 until the following calendar year. Payments made online during the winter break will be credited on the day payment was made and will be included in the figure in Box 1 for the calendar year.  Additionally, exemptions, scholarships, and any type of payments or refunds applied after the calendar year ends will not be included in the payments received figure and can affect the QTRE for the following calendar year. 

Keep in mind that how the transaction is reported on the 1098-T may not reflect the eligibility of the payment for a tax benefit.  The taxpayer should use their own financial records and/or detail from the student account statements to substantiate their claim.  Washburn cannot offer tax advice but can provide details of the totals on the 1098-T form.  Students can also access 1098-T the information, including details of the totals, by signing into MyWashburn and going to the Financial Services tab.

If there is a change in enrollment information that creates a change in QTRE or payments received after the previous year’s 1098-T was generated, that amount will be recorded here.  Because of the change in reporting methods required under federal law, no amount will be recorded in Box 4 until tax year 2019.
The IRS defines this as “all payments received from third parties (excluding family members and loan proceeds). This includes payments received from governmental and private entities such as the Department of Defense, civic and religious organizations, employers, and nonprofit entities.”  Grants include but are not limited to Pell, Kansas Comprehensive, and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants.
If there is a change in scholarship information that creates a change in recorded payments after the previous year’s 1098-T was generated, that amount will be recorded here

Information provided on the 1098-T form (prior to tax year 2018)

The IRS defines this as “tuition, fees and course materials required for a student to be enrolled at or attend an eligible educational institution.” Please note that housing costs and books are not included in this amount.

If there is a change in enrollment information that creates a change in billed tuition after the previous year’s 1098-T was generated, that amount will be recorded here

The IRS defines this as “all payments received from third parties (excluding family members and loan proceeds). This includes payments received from governmental and private entities such as the Department of Defense, civic and religious organizations, and nonprofit entities.”

If there is a change in scholarship information that creates a change in recorded payments after the previous year’s 1098-T was generated, that amount will be recorded here

GET IN TOUCH WITH Business Office

Washburn University Business Office
Morgan Hall 103
1700 SW College Ave.
Topeka, KS 66621

Phone & Email
785.670.1156
business-office@washburn.edu

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