Tax Benefits for Education

The IRS provides a number of Tax Benefits for Education. IRS Publication 970 provides information about the various benefits and qualification requirements.  IRS Form 8863 or IRS Form 8917 is required to claim these benefits.

As required by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the 1098T tax form is sent by January 31st to all students who had qualified tuition and other related educational expenses billed to them during the previous calendar year.

The 1098T form is informational only and should not be considered tax advice.

1098T Tax Form

The 1098T Tax form is used by eligible educational institutions to report student information to the IRS as required by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997.  Eligible educational institutions are required to submit the student’s name, address, taxpayer identification number (TIN), enrollment status, qualified tuition and related expenses amounts, and scholarships and/or grants (taxable or not).

The 1098T form is informational only and should not be considered tax advice. It serves to alert students that they may be eligible for federal income tax education credits such as the Lifetime Learning Credit and the American Opportunity Credit as part of their Federal Income Tax Return. IRS Publication 970, “Tax Benefits for Education,” as well as Chapter 35 of IRS Publication 17, provide additional information on these credits. The 1098T, as designed and regulated by the IRS, may not contain all of the information needed to claim a tax credit. To determine the amount of qualified tuition and fees paid, and the amount of scholarships and grants received, a taxpayer should also use their own financial records. There is no IRS requirement that you must claim the tuition and fees deduction or an education credit. Claiming education tax benefits is a voluntary decision for those who may qualify.

Educational institutions are required to send a copy of the 1098T Tax Form to the IRS to assist taxpayers and the IRS in determining the amount of qualified tuition and related expenses.

Accessing Your 1098T Tax Form

For 2018, all 1098T forms were mailed out to student mailing addresses as of January 31st.  Due to a change by the University of Wisconsin System’s vendor, the 2018 1098T Tax Form is not available online.

If you need to access an additional copy of your current  year’s 1098T Tax Form (2018), please contact our office at (608) 262-3611 or tuition@bussvc.wisc.edu.

Previous years’ 1098T Tax Forms can be accessed electronically by requesting a certificate online.

Understanding your 1098T Tax Form

For a detailed explanation of all aspects of the 1098T form, please visit www.IRS.gov.

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1098T Reporting Changes for 2018

Reporting Method Change

Prior to 2018, the 1098T included a figure in Box 2 that represented the qualified tuition and related expenses (QTRE) BILLED to your student account for the calendar (tax) year. Beginning with tax year 2018, University of Wisconsin-Madison will report in Box 1 the amount of QTRE you PAID during the year. This is due to a change to institutional reporting requirements mandated by federal law.

Impact of the Reporting Change

The impact of this change for tax year 2018 is that the amount reported in Box 1 or Box 5 may not include certain Spring 2018 payments, if they were processed in the year that ended in December 2017. You should use the information on the Form 1098T in conjunction with your own payment records to complete your individual tax return. As a reminder, all tuition account activity is available in your MyUW Student Center under the Tuition Account Summary. If you have questions about how to compute an education tax credit, consult your tax professional or refer to the IRS Publication 970.

Why isn't there an amount in Box 2?

The IRS instructs institutions to report either payments received (Box 1) or amounts billed for qualified tuition and related expenses (Box 2) on the 1098T.  The University of Wisconsin reports payments received for Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses (Box 1); therefore, Box 2 will be blank.

What educational expenses are considered qualified tuition and related expenses?

Qualified tuition and related expenses refer to tuition and required fees, such as segregated fees and course fees, that a student must pay to be enrolled at or attend an eligible educational institution. Tuition waivers and remissions are considered reductions to qualified tuition and expenses. Qualified expenses do not include: housing, food, books, student health fees, recreational sports fees, or transportation expenses.

Does the "Payments Received" figure in Box 1 equal the "Qualified Expenses" I can claim on my IRS Form 8863 as I file my taxes?

Not necessarily. The University is required to provide the “payments received” and “scholarship or grant” figures to help you determine the amount of qualified expenses you can claim on your IRS Form 8863. Per Internal Revenue Code Section 25A, taxpayers may claim an education tax credit only with respect to qualified tuition and related expenses paid (not billed) during the calendar year. You may need to review your payment records to determine the actual qualified expenses paid. Qualified amounts paid by student loans may count as payments eligible for these purposes. Scholarships and grants received may reduce your eligible payment amounts. See IRS Publication 970 for information to determine your qualified expenses paid amount.

What amounts appear in Box 4 - Adjustments made for a prior year?

This box shows the amount of any tuition and fees reductions in the current calendar year for charges that were billed in a previous calendar year.

How did the University determine the amount in Box 5 - Scholarships or Grants?

The figure in Box 5 – Scholarships or Grants includes scholarships, grants and, if applicable, payments made by a third party under a formal billing arrangement (i.e., outside scholarships, employer provided educational assistance [regardless of taxability], military, etc.) which have been administered by the University of Wisconsin-Madison. If you received other forms of outside scholarships and grants not administered by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, it is your responsibility to adjust the figure accordingly. Third party payments do not include payments made by a parent or other individuals, or payments made through AmeriCorps.

I am being taxed on my employer provided educational assistance. Why should this be considered a scholarship or grant?

The University of Wisconsin-Madison does not determine whether your education benefits are being taxed by your employer. As such, scholarships and grants are increased by 100% of any employer provided payments under a formal billing arrangement, and it is up to the student to adjust their qualified tuition and related expenses accordingly based on the taxability of their employer benefits.

What amounts appear in Box 6 - Adjustments to scholarships or grants for a prior year?

If applicable, this box shows the amount of any scholarship, grant, and third party reductions in the current calendar year for aid that was credited in a previous calendar year.

Why is there no check mark in Box 8 - at least part-time?

Box 8 will not be checked if you were not enrolled at a half-time status during an academic period which is either enrolled or billed during the calendar year. University of Wisconsin-Madison checks this box if you were half-time or more for at least one term beginning during the year. This information might be important in determining certain tax credits.

What is the purpose of Box 9 – graduate student?

Box 9 will be checked if you were enrolled as a graduate student for at least one academic period during the calendar year. If Box 9 is checked, it alerts the IRS to the fact that certain credits may not be available for the student’s qualified expenses.

Updating your 1098T Information

If your name has changed, please contact the Registrar’s Office to update your record.

If your address has changed, please update your address in your MyUW Student Center.

  • We encourage students to verify and update their contact information as needed.  However, the address printed on the 1098T is irrelevant for IRS income tax filing purposes.

If your 1098T has the incorrect social security number or is blank, please contact the Registrar’s Office immediately to update your information.  After the update has been complete, contact the Bursar’s Office so that we can correct your 1098T.

International Student Tax Information

International students (nonresident aliens) will be issued a 1098T form ONLY if the UW-Madison has a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) on file for the student.

Generally, international students cannot claim a credit.  However, some international students may be eligible.  Please review IRS forms, instructions and publications for guidance.

International students that have recently received an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) may complete Form W-9S in order to update our records.  If Form W-9S is submitted to the Bursar’s Office prior to July 15th, a 1098T for the previous calendar year will be issued.

Contact

Call the Bursar's Office

Phone: (608) 262-3611

Fax the Bursar's Office

Fax: (608) 265-3201

Bursar's Office hours

Monday – Friday
8 AM – 4PM

For staff development, on Wednesdays the customer service window may not open until 9:15 AM

Find the Bursar's Office

333 East Campus Mall #10501
Madison, WI 53715-1383