Tax credits

Students may have an opportunity for tax savings through the American Opportunity Credit or Lifetime Learning Tax Credit. These two tax credits are based on qualified education expenses paid to Virginia Commonwealth University.

Please be aware that the purpose of the 1098-T is to support any claim for educational credit. The amount reported in Box 1 is for informational purposes and might be different than the amount the student actually paid or deemed to have paid. To help determine how much credit can be claimed, select the “account detail for term” option in eServices. Refer to IRS Publication 970 for additional assistance in determining how these awards should be reported.

The Student Accounting Department does not offer tax advice. For further questions concerning either tax credit, consult with a tax professional.

1098-T Forms

In January, the Student Accounting Department will issue 1098-T tuition statements to eligible students. Students can also access a copy of this form through the “tax notification” option under “student accounts” in eServices.

How is Box 1 calculated?

Beginning with the tax year 2018, VCU repors payments received for Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses (QTRE). Box 1 includes payments applied to the student's account during the calendar year (January 1 through December 31) that total up to the QTRE billed in the calendar year. These payments may include individual cash, check and credit card payments; payments from 529 and other investment accounts; payments from third party sources; student loans; and grants and scholarships. Any refunds issued to the student or any dishonored (returned) payments reduce the total payments reported.

How are the Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses (QTRE) calculated?

The QTRE includes tuition and mandatory fees assessed to all students that were billed during the calendar tax year (January 1 through December 31). Charges for housing, meal plans, late fees, student health fees, optional fees, and course-related books and equipment are not included.

Why are my payments from the spring semester not included?

Many students participate in advance registration for the spring semester. The charges are billed in December for the upcoming spring semester. Payments recorded in Box 1 cannot exceed the total qualified charges reported in the calendar year. Payments made for the spring semester may not be included, if the charges were billed in the previous calendar year.

How is Box 5 calculated?

Box 5 includes all grants, scholarships and payments made from third parties that were posted to the student's account during the calendar tax year (January 1 through December 31). Many students participate in advance registration for the spring semester. The charges are billed in December for the upcoming spring semester. Box 5 may include awards posted in the new tax year that were applied towards qualified charges billed in the previous calendar tax year. Students can select the "Account Detail for Term" option in eServices to view their account information, including spring semester awards that paid charges billed in the previous tax year. The Student Accounting Department cannot determine if amounts reported in Box 5 should be considered taxable income.

What are Boxes 4 and 6?

These are reductions made to amounts previously reported on the 1098-T form. Box 4 includes any adjustments that occurred in the current tax reporting year to qualified tuition and related expenses that were reported on previous 1098-T forms due to retroactive account activity. Box 6 includes any adjustments to scholarship or grants during the current tax year to amounts previously reported in Box 5. Adjustments reported in Boxes 4 or 6 may affect the educational tax credit claimed in a previous year. Refer to IRS Publication 970 [PDF] or consult a tax professional for additional assistance in determining how these adjustments should be reported.

Can I receive an updated or corrected 1098-T form?

The amounts reported on the 1098-T form are for informational purposes and might be different than the amount the student actually paid or deemed to have paid. Students should file their IRS forms with the information they determined to be correct. The Student Accounting Department does not offer tax advice. Students should consult with a tax professional or refer to the IRS Publication 970 [PDF] for additional assistance. Students should contact the Student Accounting Department immediately if their name or Social Security Number is incorrectly reported on the 1098-T form.