Education Tax Credit Information - American Opportunity Credit
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 Grand Rapids Community College. 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. Grand Rapids Community College 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, GRCC reports certain enrollment and identifying information regarding US resident students for which GRCC has received payments of "qualified education expenses" for the corresponding tax year. Included in the 1098-T form are qualified charges that were paid "out-of-pocket" and with financial assistance, excluding loans, received for the corresponding tax year.
To simplify reporting, and to promote the best customer service for students and their families, GRCC contracted with MaximusTRA Services to provide the Tax Credit Reporting Service (TCRS). In addition to mailing 1098-T forms on behalf of GRCC,TCRS hosts a web portal and provides toll-free customer support at (800) 223-0043.
Change to 1098-T Form for 2018
In previous years, your 1098-T included a figure in Box 2 that represented the qualified tuition and related expenses (QTRE) we billed to your student account for the calendar (tax) year. Due to a change to institutional reporting requirements under federal law, beginning with tax year 2018, we will report in Box 1 the amount of QTRE you paid during the year. This amount paid will include "out-of-pocket" payments as well as any financial aid/scholarships/third-party payments that paid for QTRE. Box 3 will be checked to indicate this change in reporting. No amounts will be reported in Box 2 for 2018.
Continuing Education (non-credit courses)
The IRS does not require the Form 1098-T to be sent to students for Continuing Education (non-credit classes. ) IRS Publication 970 details the possibility of using the Lifetime Learning Credit for these types of classes. Students may use copies of receipts in those instances. Students can refer to this publication or consult with a tax advisor for guidance.
Receiving Your 1098-T Form by Mail
If you are a US resident for tax purposes and you have qualified education expenses paid 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 your receipt of your 1098-T by keeping your permanent address updated with GRCC.
Accessing Your 1098-T Form Online
Access your 1098-T form. Click "First Time Student” and follow instructions detailed instructions for setting up a PIN. Once you have your PIN, you may log in using your PIN, and other required information. If you have any difficulty setting up your PIN or logging in to the TCRS website, please contact TCRS toll free directly at (800) 223-0043. Please note that GRCC 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.
For more information about tax credits or your 1098-T form, please visit the IRS website or view Publication 970 (Tax Benefits for Education). Also, see the American Opportunity web page for more specific information.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which tax credits do I qualify for?
GRCC 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. 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, GRCC reports certain enrollment and identifying information regarding US resident students for which GRCC has received payments of "qualified education expenses" for the corresponding tax year. Included in the 1098-T form are qualified charges that were paid 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.
What expenses do not qualify as "qualified education expenses"?
Charges and fees associated with room, board, athletics, 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 paid 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.