Education Tax Credit Information – The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997
For tax year 2015, students will access their 1098-T form online at www.1098t.com.
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.
**Attention** The American Opportunity Tax Credit has been extended through December 2017 by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.
General Information about the 1098-T FormThe 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). For more information, visit TCRS web site or call TCRS Customer Support toll-free at (877) 467-3821.
Email Notification that your 1098-T Form is OnlineFor tax year 2015, students will access their 1098-T form online at www.1098t.com. By January 31, you will receive an email notification from TCRS (firstname.lastname@example.org) indicating your 1098-T is available online at www.1098T.com. Be sure to keep your email address on Bear Facts (http://bearfacts.berkeley.edu) current.
Accessing Your 1098-T Form OnlineYour 1098-T form is accessible on the TCRS website. Click "Access My Record" to log in to the system. 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 logging in to the TCRS website, please contact TCRS toll free directly at (877) 467-3821.
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 may access your 1098-T form online in late January at www.1098t.com. 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.1098t.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.
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.