Explanation of IRS Form 1098-T | Teachers College Columbia University

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Office of the Bursar

Explanation of IRS Form 1098-T

Teachers College, Columbia University will furnish 1098-T forms to students that are enrolled. This IRS form 1098-T is an information form also filed with the Internal Revenue Service. 

The 1098-T form is used to document tax credit on the United State Federal Income tax returns 1040 or 1040A. Currently, there are two tax credits available to help you offset the costs of higher education, the American opportunity credit (formerly The Hope Credit) and the lifetime learning credit.

You or the person, who may claim you as a dependent, may be eligible to use the 1098-T to claim education tax credits if you are in one of these categories:

  • U.S. Citizens
  • Permanent Residents (PR)
  • Married to a citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Can legally be claimed as a dependent by a Citizen or Permanent Resident, or
  • Have been in the US long enough to file taxes as a resident for federal tax purposes.

The IRS does not require you to claim the tuition and fees deduction, or an education credit. Claiming education tax benefits is a voluntary decision for those who may qualify.

Most international students are not eligible to claim education tax credits. For more information on IRS form 1098-T, please visit www.irs.gov and search for Publication 970 and/or Am I Eligible to Claim an Education Credit?. For further assistance on your specific tax questions, please consult with a qualified tax professional.

BOX 2 – Teachers College chooses to report qualified tuition and related expenses that were billed during the calendar year, rather than the amount that was paid. In general, qualified tuition and related expenses are considered to be billed when you register for courses. The net billed amount of tuition and fees are reported in box 2, less any adjustments.

Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses Include:

Tuition, College fee, College Research Fee, Doctoral Dissertation Advisement fee, Ph.D. Dissertation Defense fee and Special examination fee (each course).

Not Included:

Columbia Health fee, One-time Transcript Fee , Gold Health Insurance Fee, Platinum Health Insurance Fee, Application Fee (non-refundable and payable at time of application), Library Research Fee (for non-college users) per month, Late registration fee, Student identification card replacement fee, Late payment fee (flat fee), Late payment (monthly fee), Returned check fee and Deferred payment plan fee.

 BOX 4 – Shows any adjustment made for a prior year for qualified tuition and related expenses that were reported on a prior year Form 1098-T in Box 2. For example, if you were billed for the Spring semester in December and then you withdrew from classes in January, Box 5 reports the decrease billed and reported in the prior year.

BOX 5 – Shows the total amount of scholarships or grants received from Teachers College during the calendar year. The amount reported in Box 5 does not include:

  • Tuition waivers provided to eligible employee benefits
  • Tuition waivers provided as an eligible research assistant
  • Work study
  • Federal Direct Student loans, Perkins loans and Alternative loans
  • Scholarships, grants, reimbursements, or other types of sponsorship not administered by Teachers College

BOX 6 - Shows any adjustment made for a prior year to scholarships, or grants reported on a prior year Form 1098-T in Box 5. This amount may affect the amount of any allowable tuition and fees deduction or education credit that you claimed for the prior year.

BOX 7 – Indicates that the amount in Box 2 includes amounts for an academic period beginning in the next calendar year. For example, if you registered for the upcoming spring semester in November or December, then this box will be marked.

BOX 8 – Shows if you are considered to be carrying at least one-half the normal full-time course of student workload at Teachers College for at least one academic period during the calendar year.  If this box is marked, then you meet one of the requirements for the American opportunity credit. You do not have to meet the workload requirement to qualify for the tuition and fee deduction or the lifetime learning credit.

BOX 9 – Shows if you are considered to be enrolled in a program leading to a graduate degree, graduate-level certificate, or other recognized graduate level educational credential. Graduate level programs are not eligible for the American Opportunity credit, but you may qualify for the tuition and fee deduction or the lifetime learning credit.