Educational Tax Credit
Tax benefits exist in the form of credits and
deductions for those paying for higher education. We encourage students and
their families to take advantage of such benefits offered in an effort to
reduce the cost burden of college. Please read below and explore the links
provided for more information.
Please note: Not all students or expenses are
eligible for education tax benefits
An education credit helps with the
cost of higher education by reducing the amount of tax owed on a tax return. If
the credit reduces the taxes owed to less than zero, students and families may
get a tax refund. There are two education credits available: the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) and the Lifetime
Who Can Claim an Education Credit?
There are additional rules for each credit, but those seeking to claim them
must meet all three of the following requirements for either credit:
- Individual, their dependent or a third party pays qualified
education expenses for
- An eligible student must be enrolled at an eligible educational institution.
- The eligible student is the individual, their spouse or
a dependent they list on their tax return.
The IRS has created an interactive
tool to determine eligibility for education credits available here.
If eligible to claim the lifetime
learning credit and also eligible to claim the American opportunity credit for
the same student in the same year, individuals and families can choose to claim
either credit, but not both.
The AOTC may not be claimed if a
student was a nonresident alien for any part of the tax year unless they elect
to be treated as a resident alien for federal tax purposes. For more
information about AOTC and foreign students, visit American Opportunity Tax Credit - Information for Foreign
Deductions reduce the
amount of income that is subject to tax, thus generally reducing the amount of
tax that must be paid. There are several education deductions available
including those related to tuition and fees as well as student loan interest
paid. For more information please visit the IRS Tax Benefits
for Education Information Center.
A 1098-T is provided to undergraduate students by the beginning of February
provided the student was enrolled at any time in the previous calendar year. Students
not part of an undergraduate program, such as Continuing Education or Adult
Education do not receive a 1098-T. If a student was enrolled and dropped from
their course(s) but were not billed, they will not receive a 1098-T.
Form 1098-T is mailed to the home address associated with a student’s
account. Additionally, this form is posted online if they have provided their
consent (through the MyTriton Portal in the Financial
Information tab under “1098 Electronic Consent”).
Students or those claiming a student as a dependent may be able to claim an
education credit on tax form 1040 or 1040A. Education credits may only be
claimed for qualified tuition and related expenses that were actually paid
during the tax year for which the return is being filed.
Institutions may report either payments received during the calendar year in
box 1 or amounts billed during the calendar year in box 2. Triton College
reports amounts billed (Box 2) data only. This may represent an amount other
than the amount actually paid during the calendar year.
ask that students make certain that Triton College has their correct social
security number on file. Updates to the W9S form can be made in the Admission and
Records Office, Room B216E, if any correction is needed.
Although Triton College
may be able to answer certain questions about the 1098-T statement, please do
not contact the institution for explanations of the requirements for (and how
to figure) any education credit that tax filer may claim. For more
information regarding education tax credits, eligibility requirements, and for
help calculating the amount of you credit please visit www.IRS.gov
and view Pub 970, Tax Benefits for Education; Form 8863, Education Credits, and
the Form 1040 or 1040A instructions.