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Campus Operations and Finance

1098-T

Form 1098-T is an informational only tax document completed by Western Carolina University as required by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 which is furnished to students to assist them in determining eligibility for education tax credits.. The form summarizes qualified tuition and related expenses for the calendar year (January 1 to December 31). The form reports the amounts paid that may entitle the student to the American Opportunity Credit, Lifetime Learning Credit, or other educational tax benefits depending on his/her individual situation.

In order to comply with IRS regulations, Western Carolina University is required to have the student's social security number for 1098-T IRS reporting. Not having the number will delay processing.

Your 1098-T form will be accessible online through myWCU/Bill+Payment or on the ECSI website.  The 1098-T may be viewed and printed. If the student consents to receive the 1098-T electronically, a paper form will not be mailed.

If you elect not to receive your 1098-T form electronically, it will be mailed  by January 31, 2019, to the mailing address in our records. If you are a current student, we encourage you to take advantage of receiving the form electronically: save time , eliminate the risk of losing your 1098-T form in the mail, and safeguard your personal information.

To see the information on your 1098-T in myWCU:

1. Visit myWCU and login with your WCU ID (before the @ in your catamount email address) and password.
2. Click View Bill & Make a Payment.
3. Once in Bill+Payment, click 1098-T and select the correct tax year.

The 1098-T Form

Due to a change to institutional reporting requirements under federal law, beginning with tax year 2018, the University will report in Box 1 the amount of payments received for qualified tuition and related expenses paid during the calendar (tax year) 2018.

  • Box 1: The total payments from any source received by an eligible educational institution in 2018 for qualified tuition and related expenses, less any reimbursements or refunds made during 2018 that relate to payments received during 2018.  Please note the amount in Box 1 will NOT equal to or sum to the charges paid for calendar year 2018 because all charges are not considered qualified tuition and related expenses as defined by the Internal Revenue Service.  Health Services fees and Transportation fees are not qualified; therefore, the full amount of fees paid will not be reported.  Note: If you registered for and paid for Spring 2018 classes in 2017, those payments will not be included on the 2018 1098-T.  Also, if you register and pay for Spring 2019 classes in 2018, those payments will be included on the 2018 1098-T.  For a payment to be reportable, it must relate to qualified tuition and related expenses billed during the same calendar year.
  • Box 2: Beginning in tax year 2018, this box will no longer be used.  Prior to 2018, it was used for amounts billed for qualified tuition and related expenses.
  • Box 3: Change in Reporting Methods Box:  Will be checked for 2018 only.
  • Box 4: It is the amount of any adjustments made for a prior year for qualified tuition and related expenses that were reported on a prior year Form 1098-T.  This amount may reduce any allowable education credit you may claim for the prior year.  See Form 8863 or the IRS Pub 970 for more information.  This box will be blank for 2018, as 2018 is the first year the University has reported payments. 
  • Box 5: Scholarships or grants: This box reports scholarships and grants, but not loans, posted to your account during the calendar year 2018. Scholarships and grants may be paid in cash or may be in the form of direct tuition reductions.  Spring 2019 scholarships or grants awarded in 2018 will appear in Box 5 and Box 1.
  • Box 6: Adjustments to scholarships or grants for a prior year. This is for adjustments to scholarships and grants that were granted any time prior to January 1, 2018. In general, net grants = Box 6 – Box 5
  • Box 7: If this box is checked, then at least some amount of tuition is for the academic period January-May 2019 (Spring Semester 2019). It is common for a student to register, be billed, and pay tuition for Spring Semester in November or December of the previous year.
  • Box 8: If this box is checked, then the student has enrolled at least half time (5 credits for graduates, 6 credits for undergraduates) for at least one semester during 2018.
  • Box 9: If this box is checked, then the student is a graduate student at any time during 2018. 

 

Qualified education expenses include:

  • Tuition and fees that are required to enroll at Western Carolina University
  • Books and supplies that are required for course instruction. (Caution: Since the University cannot track any amounts paid for books and supplies, no amount for books and supplies will be on the 1098-T form. Please keep your receipts.)

Some expenses that are NOT qualified for the 1098-T:

  • Housing and meal plans
  • Transportation Fee
  • Health Insurance Fees
  • Health Service Fee

FAQs

Do I need to complete a 1098-T form

No, the 1098-T form is completed by the University.

Why did I not receive a 1098-T

Western Carolina University is not required to furnish a 1098-T for the following students:

  • Students who take classes where no academic credit is offered even if the student is otherwise enrolled in a degree program;
  • Students who are nonresident aliens for income tax purposes (unless requested by the student); and
  • Students for whom Western Carolina University does not maintain separate financial account information and whose qualified tuition and related expenses are covered by a formal billing arrangement between the University and either the student's employer or a governmental entity, such as the Department of Veteran Affairs or the Department of Defense.

Some of the most common reasons for not receiving a 1098-T are:

  • Western Carolina University does not have your social security number. This information is required for 1098-T reporting.
  • Western Carolina University does not have your valid address.

My last semester was Spring 2018. Will I receive a 1098-T form for 2018?

We are required to report transactions by calendar year (January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018).

For most students, tuition charges for Spring 2018 semester were paid before January 1, 2018. Therefore, those charges were stated on the 2017 1098-T form. Transactions regarding payments and financial aid posted after January 1, 2018 are stated on the 2018 1098-T.

To summarize, for most students:

Regular tuition charges for Spring 2018 semester are posted on the 2017 1098-T form.

Payments and financial aid awarded after January 1 are posted on the 2018 1098-T form.

Is my financial aid reported on the 1098-T?

 

Scholarships, grants, waivers, and anything that is not required to be paid back, that are processed through the University are reported in Box 5 on the 1098-T. Loans are not reported on the 1098-T.

What are the educational tax benefits that the IRS offers?

Some of the tax benefits the IRS offers are:

American Opportunity Credit - A student may take a credit up to $2,500 (with up to $1,000 refundable). The student must have been enrolled at least half-time for any semester during 2018, which can be verified if Box 8 on the 1098-T has been checked.

The list of qualified expenses has been expanded to include "course materials", or books, supplies, and equipment needed for a course study. Caution: for the purposes of this credit, the 1098-T may not reflect the total qualified expenses based on information available. This credit is available for students who are in their first four years of post-secondary education.

Lifetime Learning Credit - A taxpayer may take up to $2,000 (20% of the first $10,000 in expenses) credit per tax return, not per student. The credit is available for all years of postsecondary education and courses to acquire or improve job skills.

Tuition and Fees Deduction - Up to $4,000 may be deducted from income for qualified expenses. Expenses that do not qualify for these benefits include insurance, medical expenses, room and board, and expenses for non-credit courses.

For details, check out IRS Publication 970.

I am an international student; do I need a 1098-T?

It depends whether you are a nonresident alien for federal income tax purposes. Nonresident aliens are generally not eligible for educational tax benefits.

Only you and your tax consultant can determine if you are eligible for any of the above tax benefits. The University cannot advise you on your tax situation.

If you are an international student and did not receive a 1098-T but you still need one, please request a 1098-T from the Student Accounts Office and one will be sent to you.

Is there a payment required when the 1098-T is received?

No payment is necessary. The 1098-T is not a bill from the University.

Remember, the 1098-T is completed by the University; you do not complete the 1098-T.

I pay to participate in a foreign exchange program. Why isn't this on my form?

Most likely what you are paying for is travel expenses. Travel is not included on the 1098-T because for most tax benefits, travel is not an allowable expense.

Other Questions? Please email us at osssc@wcu.edu.

Regarding tax information, you may also call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040, Monday-Friday, 7:00 AM - 10:00 PM or visit the IRS web site.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this page is general information only. We are not personal tax preparers and cannot give any personal tax advice. For tax preparation advice, please consult your tax advisor.

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