I already submitted my tax forms and then today I received my 1098-T in the mail. Box 2 on the form is $4,090 and box 5 is $2,733; box 8 is marked as I am at least a half-time student.====> Schools can report your qualified expenses one of two ways: based on how much you actually paid during the year of 2016, or based on how much the school billed you during the year. If the school reports the amount paid, it puts that figure in Box 1 of the form. If it reports the amount billed, it does so in Box 2. (A school generally has to use the same reporting method every year. If it changes its method -- which requires IRS approval -- it puts a check mark in Box 3. This box is here primarily for the IRS's information, not the student's.)
Box 5 shows the amount of scholarships and grants that were paid directly to the school for your expenses. Scholarships and grants may reduce the amount of qualified expenses you can use when calculating a deduction or credit
My federal has already been accepted and my refund of roughly $700 is on the way to me between today and Feb. 13th. The two states I've lived in for 2016 are still pending approval.I can't figure out if I qualify for any educational refunds like the American Opportunity Credit or the Lifetime Learning credit. I am also worried when I amend my federal, I will lose the refund or owe given my new 1098-T form.I'm essentially asking:
1. Do I have to legally claim my 1098-T?=====>> 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.
HOWEVER I Should say,In principle yes even for good tax return records ; if you do not, then your refund doesn?t increase. I mean still $700.
2. Should I claim my 1098-T to potentially get more back (if not legally bound to enter it)? Or will it cost me my refund given the amounts I entered?=======> as mentioned above;
I should say, Yes you need to claim your 1098T to get more money back however it is up to you. If you do not want more money back to you since the amount is minimal ,i.e., say $15~$25 or etc, you may disregard it ,you do not need to claim 1098T.
3. Can anyone help me figure out if I qualify for any education credits? I've read the 'how-to' guide for form 8863 and I am beyond lost. I am independent and single filing.=======>It depends ; The 1098-T form is informational only and should not be considered as tax advice. It serves to alert you that you may be eligible for federal income tax education credits such as the Lifetime Learning Credit and the AOC Credit as part of your Federal Income Tax Return.. Opportunity Credit (formerly The Hope Credit)
Of the two education credits currently available, not both of them ; the AOC is the most valuable.
The AOC applies only to the first4 years of post-secondary school education (university, college, vocational school, nonprofit and for-profit institutions)You can claim up to $2,500 per eligible student, per year.
The credit covers 100% of the first $2k of qualified tuition, required fees, and qualified expenses, plus 25% of the next $2k.
40% of the credit is refundable, so you may receive $1k per eligible student as a tax refund even if you owe no tax.
Each student for which you claim the credit must have been enrolled at least half time for at least one academic period which began during the Tax Year.
For 2016, the limit on modified adjusted gross income is $160k if married filing jointly and $80k if single, head of household, or qualifying widow(er).
.Qualified expenses include tuition and required fees, books, supplies, equipment, and other required course materials (but not room and board).Any felony drug convictions by the end of 2016 disqualify the student from receiving this credit.
The Lifetime Learning Credit
If you, your spouse, or your dependent do not qualify for the AOC, you may still be able to claim the Lifetime Learning Credit. Here is what you need to know about this education credit:The Lifetime Learning Credit applies to undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree courses, and even to post-graduate courses that help improve your job skills.The credit is available for any and all years of post-secondary education, and also for adult and continuing education courses. There is no limit on how many years you can claim the credit.There is no minimum enrollment requirement.The amount of your credit will be 20% of the first $10k of combined post-secondary tuition and fees you paid, totaling no more than $2k (per year, not per student).
For 2016, (full credit) the limit on modified adjusted gross income is $110k if married filing jointly; $55kif single, head of household, or qualifying widow(er).
The Lifetime Learning Credit is not refundable, so it will not be paid to you in a refund--it simply decreases your tax liability.
You may claim the credit for qualified expenses you paid for yourself (if you were not claimed as a dependent), your spouse, or your dependent.
Qualified expenses include tuition, fees, books, supplies, equipment, and other course materials as long as they are required (room and board is not included).
Felony drug convictions do not make the student ineligible.