Education Tax Credit Information – The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997
If you are a US resident for tax purposes, you may be eligible to claim a tax credit on your federal tax return if you paid qualified educational expenses to the University of California. The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 provides educational tax incentives for eligible taxpayers. These benefits, called the American Opportunity (Hope) Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit, allow taxpayers to reduce their federal income tax based upon qualified tuition and fees paid, assuming the taxpayer meets all eligibility requirements. The determination as to whether you qualify for tax credits should be made in consultation with your personal tax advisor or the Internal Revenue Service. The University of California cannot give you tax advice or make a determination as to whether you qualify for tax credits.
General Information about the 1098-T Form
The 1098-T form is used by eligible educational institutions to report information about their US resident students to the IRS as required by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997. As an eligible educational institution, UC Berkeley reports certain enrollment and identifying information regarding US resident students for which UC Berkeley has received payments of "qualified education expenses" for the corresponding tax year. Included in the 1098-T form are qualified charges that were billed and financial assistance received for the corresponding tax year. Loans are excluded and not reported on the 1098-T form. Educational institutions are not required to provide 1098-T forms to students who are non-resident aliens for tax purposes. As a result, you may not receive a 1098-T form from UC Berkeley if you are a non-resident alien student.
To simplify reporting and to promote the best customer service for students and their families, the University of California contracted with Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) to provide Tax Credit Reporting Services (TCRS). In addition to mailing 1098-T forms on behalf of UC Berkeley, TCRS hosts the TCRS web site and provides toll-free customer support at (877) 467-3821.
Receiving Your 1098-T Form by Mail
If you are a US resident for tax purposes and you have qualified education expenses and/or gift aid for the corresponding tax year, you will receive a 1098-T form from TCRS at your permanent address by January 31. Please help us ensure you receive your 1098-T by keeping your permanent address updated with UC Berkeley.
Change of Address: Current and returning UCB students update their addresses at Bear Facts. Alumni and former students must submit a signed and dated request to update their address to University of California, Office of the Registrar, 120 Sproul Hall #5404, Berkeley, CA 94720-5404; fax: (510) 643-4222.
UC Berkeley Extension students must submit updated information in writing, signed and dated by the student, to Academic and Student Records, UC Berkeley Extension, Suite 110, 1995 University Avenue #7020, Berkeley, CA 94720-7020; fax: (510) 643-2333.
Accessing Your 1098-T Form Online
Your 1098-T form is accessible on the TCRS website. Click "Access My Record" to log in to the system. If this is your first time accessing the TCRS website, please use their detailed instructions for setting up a PIN. Once you have your PIN, you may log in using your PIN, your last name and either your Social Security Number or UC Berkeley student ID number. To use your UC Berkeley student ID number in lieu of your Social Security Number, select the link that says, "You may choose to login with your school identification number rather than your Social Security Number (SSN) by clicking here." If you have any difficulty setting up your PIN or logging in to the TCRS website, please contact TCRS toll free directly at (877) 467-3821. Please note that UC Berkeley is not able to assist you with the set-up of your PIN, so you will need to contact TCRS if you have difficulty setting up your PIN or logging in to the TCRS website.
Once you have successfully logged in, select the tax year from the drop down menu box. You may search for your 1098-T form for the current tax year as well as the previous two tax years. After you have retrieved your 1098-T form online, you may print your form to be used with your tax preparation and filing.
ResourcesFor more information about tax credits or your 1098-T form, visit the Tax Credit Reporting Service (TCRS) website. You may also visit the IRS website or view Publication 970 (Tax Benefits for Education). Education credit IRS Form 8863 can be found at: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8863.pdf. To complete this form you will need UC Berkeley’s Federal Tax ID Number: 94-6002123.
If you have specific questions about your 1098-T form, please contact TCRS toll free at (877) 467-3821 (Monday – Friday excluding holidays, from 1pm to 11pm PST).
Where can I get more information pertaining to the American Opportunity (Hope) Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit?
Which tax credits do I qualify for?
UC Berkeley is unable to provide you with tax advice or to assist with strategies for filing your taxes. To determine your potential eligibility, please consult your tax advisor or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Who is eligible to claim the tax credits?
The student or the taxpayer who claims the student as an exemption on his or her tax return may be eligible to claim these tax credits. Married taxpayers must file jointly. The credits are based on payments made for "qualified educational expenses". Refer to Publication 970 for a complete definition of eligibility requirements.
What is a 1098-T form?
The 1098-T form is used by eligible educational institutions to report information about their US resident status to the IRS as required by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997. As an eligible educational institution, UC Berkeley reports certain enrollment and identifying information regarding US resident students for which UC Berkeley has received payments of "qualified education expenses" for the corresponding tax year. Included in the 1098-T form are qualified charges that were billed and gift aid received for the corresponding tax year.
What are "qualified education expenses"?
The term "qualified education expenses" means the tuition and fees an individual is required to pay in order to enroll at or attend an eligible educational institution. At UC Berkeley, this includes the campus fee, student services fee, educational fee, non-resident tuition, graduate professional student fees and course material fees.
What expenses do not qualify as "qualified education expenses"?
Generally, amounts paid for any course or other educational expense involving sports, games, or hobbies are not eligible for the tax credit. Charges and fees associated with room, board, student activities, athletics, health insurance, books, equipment, transportation, and similar personal, living, or family expenses are not qualified.
How do I get a copy of my 1098-T?
If you are a US resident for tax purposes and you have qualified charges and/or gift aid for the corresponding tax year, you will receive a 1098-T form from TCRS at your permanent address in late January. You may also obtain your 1098-T online at the TCRS website. You may also request a copy to be faxed to you by contacting the Tax Credit Reporting Service Call Center at (877) 467-3821 (Monday – Friday excluding holidays, from 1pm to 11pm PST).
How can I find the details of the totals reported in boxes numbered 1-6 on my 1098-T?
Login to http://www.1098-t.com, click on "View my 1098-T" in the upper left hand corner of the screen, and advance past page 1 of the 1098-T to see detailed information.
If I attend UC Berkeley Extension or Summer Session, will I receive a 1098-T?
Yes, UC Berkeley reports information on students who attend UC Berkeley Extension or Summer Session.
Can I get my 1098-T sent to me electronically?
By default, the initial 1098-T is sent in a paper form via postal mail. However, you may opt out of paper delivery and choose a "go green" electronic notification when future forms are available. Whether you receive a paper document or electronic notification, reprints are always available on the TCRS web site.
I am an international student. Do I qualify for these tax credits?
International students are not eligible to claim the American Opportunity (Hope) Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit. A Form 1098-T is not issued to international students.
Additional FAQ's can be found on the TCRS website.