This page explains how UCI reports 1098-T tax information for the boxes that students most often question. The descriptions are current for Tax Year 2018, but are subject to change and should not be considered tax advice. If you need personalized assistance with your 1098-T, please consult with a tax professional or contact the IRS toll-free at (800) 829-1040.
Below is a sample 1098-T from UCI
(click to enlarge images)
The Purpose of Your 1098-T
As a student, you will receive a Form 1098-T which is a tuition statement sent from UCI. A form 1098-T, Tuition Statement is used to help provide education credits information (and potentially, the tuition and fees deduction) for qualified tuition and related expenses paid during the tax year. Form 1098-T shows you the amount you paid for qualified education expenses (in Box 1). The amounts are reported by the school to both you and the IRS.
Tuition is an expense, meaning an amount you must pay (or have paid on your behalf). Your 1098-T Tuition Statement the net “qualified tuition” you paid to UCI during the calendar year. “Qualified tuition” expenses are the basis for tax benefits that may help you or your family by offsetting the cost of education. On your Form 1098-T the “scholarships or grants” figure is included only to show how much “gift aid” you received to reduce the “qualified tuition” expenses paid out-of-pocket.
A 1098-T Tax Form has valuable information that may reduce your taxes. A trained tax professional is a great resource to help you and/or your family figure out which education tax benefits are best for you. For more information on the 1098-T related benefits, refer to Chapters 2, 3, and 6 in IRS Publication 970 https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p970.pdf.
Key to select 1098-T boxes
The IRS requires UCI to complete a 1098-T as described in the “Specific Instructions for Form 1098-T.” See https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i1098et.pdf for the TY2018 edition. Note that UCI reports only “amounts paid,” as determined by the paid/applied dates in your Zot Account. An amount that is billed but not paid is not included.
Filer’s Employer Identification Number
This is UCI’s tax identification number. If you claim an education tax credit associated with the 1098-T, this number is requested on IRS Form 8863.
Your Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is required by the IRS. For security, only the last 4 digits are displayed on the 1098-T. The full number is reported to the IRS. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if the number is incorrect or missing, and include your student ID instead of your SSN/ITIN. See the Updating Your 1098-T Student Information page for details.
Student’s Name, Street Address, City, ZIP ….
This is the information that was on file with the University Registrar when 1098-T data was compiled in the first week of January. Subsequent changes with the Registrar are NOT reflected automatically on your 1098-T.
Box 1: Payments Received for Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses
This box is filled if your student account was credited in the current year for an enrollment change affecting “qualified tuition” that already was reported on a 1098-T for a prior year.
For example, suppose you paid full-time registration fees for WINTER 2017 in December 2017. Then you received $1,870.00 credit in February 2018 to reduce your fees to the part-time level.
In this case, the “qualified tuition” for WINTER 2017 already was reported on the 1098-T for TY2017. Therefore the part-time refund in February 2018 affects “qualified tuition” for a prior year. The $1,870.00 credit must be reported separately in Box 4.
Box 5: Scholarships or Grants
The Box 5 figure is the sum of “scholarships or grants” received by you, in your Zot Account. “Scholarships or grants” is the IRS’ umbrella term for “gift aid,” meaning “funding which is not a loan and not wages.” Box 5 may include amounts which are not labeled as a “scholarship” or as a “grant,” but are “gift aid” nonetheless. Common examples are fellowships, stipends, tuition/fee remissions, veterans or employee waivers, and sponsored billings.
UCI is required to report the “total amount of any scholarships or grants administered and processed during the calendar year” (not the academic year). Therefore the Box 5 amount simply is a lump sum of the “gift aid” transactions with paid/applied dates in your Zot Account for the calendar year.
The Box 5 figure includes any adjustments (reductions or reversals) paid in the current year for funding you received in the same calendar year. For example, suppose you received a SPRING 2017 Pell grant check in March 2018, but paid back that funding in April 2018. Both the Pell grant check and the adjustment would be reported in Box 5.
There is no rule that requires UCI to report “scholarships or grants” only for certain academic periods. Therefore any new funding applied in the current year is reported for the current year, regardless of the term for which it was intended. For example, if you received a FALL 2017 grant in June 2018, the amount is reported for TY2018 (even though FALL 2017 Quarter occurred in TY2017).
UCI is not required to differentiate taxable from tax-free “scholarships or grants” on a 1098-T; hence the form is not a substitute W-2 (Wage and Tax Statement). There’s no way to subdivide Box 5 into taxable and tax-free portions. Therefore the “scholarships or grants” figure is the sum of BOTH taxable and tax-free amounts.
It’s up to you to compute any taxable portion of your funding using the rules and worksheet in Chapter 1 “Scholarships, Fellowship Grants, Grants, and Tuition Reductions” in IRS Publication 970 . If you simply subtract [Box 5 minus Box 1], then you assume that funding is taxable when applied to “Expenses That Don’t Qualify” for 1098-T reporting. UCI makes no such determination.
Box 6: Adjustments to Scholarships or Grants for a Prior Year
This box is filled if an adjustment charge was paid in the current year to reduce “scholarships or grants” funding that already was reported on a 1098-T for a prior year.
For example, suppose you used a Cal Grant in December 2017 to pay for your WINTER 2018 registration fees. Then you switched to part-time status and your Zot Account was adjusted (charged) $1,870.00 to reduce the grant. The adjustment was paid with a UC Irvine grant (new funding) in February 2018.
In this case, the Cal Grant for WINTER 2018 already was reported on the 1098-T for TY2017. Therefore the Cal grant adjustment paid in February 2018 affects “scholarships or grants” for a prior year. The $1,870.00 charge must be reported separately in Box 6.
The new funding is not an adjustment to a prior year, so it cannot be reported in Box 6. Since the UC Irvine grant was “administered and processed” in the current calendar year, it must be reported in Box 5.
Separate reporting may appear to skew the Box 5 and Box 6 amounts, causing you to wonder if more tax is owed. Remember, the 1098-T is NOT a statement of taxable “scholarships or grants.” The Box 5 and Box 6 figures apply only in the context of figuring and claiming education tax credits.
Box 8: Half-Time Check Box
Box 9: Graduate Check Box
This box is filled if you were enrolled as a graduate student for any academic period during the tax year. If you were both an undergraduate and a graduate student at UCI during the tax year, you will receive one 1098-T form with Box 9 checked.