As required by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Form 1098-T is available for all eligible students in SOLAR. Those who do not access their 1098T in SOLAR will be mailed by Jan 31 to all students who had qualified tuition and other related educational expenses paid during the previous calendar year.
The 1098-T form is informational only and should not be considered as 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 Higher Education" as well as Chapter 35 of IRS Publication 17 provide additional information on these credits. While it is a good starting point, the 1098-T, as designed and regulated by the IRS, does 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 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.
For federal tax information: Visit IRS Website
The 2020 1098-T forms are now available in SOLAR Self Service.
This form contains important tax information related to tuition, scholarships, interest, and other information for calendar year 2020 that either students or students' parents may need to complete a 2020 tax return.
Even if you are not ready to use the 1098-T, please view and print it before January 20, 2021.
If you do not access your 1098-T by January 20, 2021, your 1098-T will be sent to your U.S. mailing address as listed in your SOLAR account. Please update your mailing address in SOLAR by noon on January 20, 2021.
Retrieve your 1098-T in SOLAR
When you log in to SOLAR, go to the Finances section of the home page. On the other financial dropdown, choose View 1098-T. Click on the double arrows.
The first time you log in you will be required to give consent to receive your 1098-T electronically. This is a two step process.
After you have given consent, you will be able to click on a hyperlink for your 2020 1098T. This will open a PDF. Please note that once you have opened this file, you will not receive a print copy in the mail.
PDF instructions on Accessing your 2020 1098-T
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The following questions are commonly asked about the 1098-T form. The first several questions are general. If you have a question about a specific box on the form, you may find your questions in the second set of information.
What is a 1098-T?
The 1098-T form is used by eligible educational institutions to report information about their students 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's identification number (TIN), enrollment status, amounts pertaining to qualified tuition and related expenses, and scholarships and/or grants, taxable or not. A 1098-T form must also be provided to each applicable student.
Why did I receive Form 1098-T?
In January, the University of Wisconsin System provides an IRS Form 1098-T for all students who had qualified tuition and other related educational expenses paid during the previous calendar year.
Did the University send a copy of this form to the IRS?
Yes. Section 6050S of the Internal Revenue Code, as enacted by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, requires the University to file information returns to assist taxpayers and the IRS in determining the amount of qualified tuition and related expenses (qualified expenses) for which an education tax credit is allowable under section 25A (American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning education tax credits), as well as other tax benefits for higher education expenses.
Where can I get copies of my payment and loan disbursement information?
This information may be found on your campus’s Student Information Systems on your tuition account or on-line billing statement history. If you are a parent looking for this information for a student, please ask your student to access this information for you.
Why is my employer provided educational assistance considered a scholarship or grant if I am being taxed on it?
The University of Wisconsin System 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 if my 1098-T has the incorrect social security number on it?
The single most important information on the form is your Social Security Number. You must submit a written request to change or correct your SSN by mail or in person to the Registrar’s Office. You may be required to supply a signed, legible copy of your Social Security card or complete Form W-9S (Request for Student's or Borrower's Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification). Form W-9S is the official IRS form used to state your SSN. You need only complete Part I of this form when requesting a 1098-T. Enter your SSN in the spaces marked "Taxpayer identification number.”
Can I claim a credit if I am a foreign student?
Generally, foreign students cannot claim a credit. However, some foreign students may be eligible. Review IRS forms, instructions, and publications for guidance.
How do I change or correct my name listed on my 1098-T?
Your name is a key element on your tax information. Follow your campus’s process for changing your name so that the University has up-to-date information.
Why didn’t I receive my 1098-T?
1098-T documents are available in SOLAR. If you accessed your 1098T in SOLAR prior to the printing date, a printed copy will not be sent. Mailed forms are sent to the student’s address as of the printing date for that year. Please refer to the above for that date as it changes each year. Your address is maintained by the University of Wisconsin System Campus Registrar's Offices. You should follow your campus’s process for changing your address so that the University has up-to-date information.
Will an outdated address listed on the 1098-T affect me when I file my tax return?
No. The address shown on Form 1098-T is irrelevant for IRS income tax filing purposes. However, you should follow your campus’s process for changing your address so that the University has up-to-date information.
How can I get a reprint of my 1098-T form?
Is there a deadline in which to have a Form 1098-T issued?
UW institutions will issue a 1098-T to any student who:
- Is entitled to receive a 1098-T, or
- Requests a 1098-T in advance of the time those forms need to be submitted for IRS processing.
UW institutions will issue a copy of a previously issued 1098-T to any student to whom that 1098-T was previously issued.
In relation to Flexible Option coursework, what semester category are the related tuition and related expenses and grants, scholarships, and related amounts reported?
Flexible Option coursework is reported the same as other tuition, scholarships, or grants on the 1098-T form.
QUESTIONS ABOUT SPECIFIC BOXES
Note: Some boxes are referenced with more than one question. Some boxes do not have questions.
Box 1. What educational expenses are considered as qualified tuition and related expenses?
Qualified tuition and related expenses refer to tuition and required fees, such as segregated fees and lab fees, a student must pay to be enrolled at or attend an eligible education institution. Tuition waivers and remissions are considered reductions to qualified tuition and expenses.
Qualified expenses do not include:
- Amounts paid for any course or education involving sports, games, or hobbies unless the course or other education is required as part of the student's degree program or is taken to acquire or improve job skills.
- Charges and fees for room, board, insurance, transportation, personal, living, and other family expenses.
- The cost of books and equipment are generally not qualified expenses because eligible educational institutions usually do not require that the cost of the books or equipment be paid to the institution as a condition of the student's enrollment or attendance at the institution. However, some campuses may have a mandatory textbook fee or rental program which may be included as a qualified related expense.
Box 1. Do the "Amounts Paid" figures 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 "amounts paid" 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 during the calendar year. You will need to review your payment records to determine the actual qualified expenses paid. Remember that 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.
Box 2. Why isn't there an amount?
The IRS instructs institutions to report payments received (Box 1). Prior to the 2018 calendar reporting, the University of Wisconsin reported qualified tuition and related expenses that were billed during the tax year (Box 2). Box 2 is no longer a reporting option.
Box 4. What amounts appear as 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.
Box 5. How did the University determine the amounts to include?
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 System. If you received other forms of outside scholarships and grants not administered by the University of Wisconsin System, it is your responsibility to adjust the figure accordingly. Third party payments do not include payments made by your parent or other individuals.
Box 6. What amounts appear as adjustments to scholarships or grants for a prior year?
This box shows the amount of any scholarship, grant and, if applicable, third party reductions in the current calendar year for aid that was credited in a previous calendar year.
Box 8. Why is there no check mark indicating 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. The University of Wisconsin System checks this box if you were half- time or more for at least one term beginning during the year.
Box 9. What is the purpose of indentifying me as a a 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 the American Opportunity Credit is not allowable for the student’s qualified expenses because the student is beyond the first four years of post-secondary education and that the Lifetime Learning Credit may be allowable.