Tax Q & A


What are qualified and unqualified fees?

Qualified fees include all tuition and mandatory fees, professional liability insurance premiums, and the admission application fee. Unqualified fees include everything else, including medical insurance, installment plan fees, late fees, fines, housing, etc.

Can I use myIPFW to look up my financial records for 2016?

Yes, you can use your normal account look-up function. We have also added a special TRA page that will show your summary TRA data, but only for classes taken at IPFW. It will not include any other Purdue campus information. Note for best results all student account data should be opened using Internet Explorer.

When should the "half-time indicator" (Box 8) be checked?

Section 25A of the Code provides, that the American Opportunity Tax Credit is allowable for amounts paid for qualified expenses only for students enrolled at lease half-time for one academic period that begins during the calendar year.  Box 8 provides the Service with an indication that the American Opportunity Tax Credit may be allowable for the student's qualified expenses. The preceding information is from IRS Notice 2006-72 dated September 5, 2006 titled, "Information Reporting for Qualified Tuition and related expenses"

Why is spring semester 2017 reported on my 1098-T? I thought this was for 2016.

The tax law specifies that you can take the credit in the year you made the payment provided the term begins in the first 90 days of the new year. So if you paid your spring 2017 fees in December of 2016, you may take the credit in 2016. On the other hand, if you paid your spring 2016 fees in December of 2015, you may NOT claim the credit for that term in 2016.

I was on a deferred payment plan for spring. How do I deal with that?

You may claim only those payments you actually made during 2016. If part of your spring fees were deferred into 2017 because of your payment plan, then those payments can not be claimed until 2017.

I took credit courses during 2016 but didn't receive a 1098-T. Why not?

We sent 1098-T forms to credit students who took classes during 2016 and whose tuition and fees exceeded their total grants and scholarships. If your total financial aid exceeded your total qualified tuition and fees, no 1098-T was mailed. We also were unable to send forms to those without valid Social Security Numbers (student id's beginning with 999-) or students with no U.S. address.

I took a Continuing Education course in 2016. Why didn't I get a 1098-T for it?

IRS regulations do not require non-credit courses to be reported. You may still qualify for the Lifetime Learner's credit if your classes qualify. Go to our Tax Forms to retrieve the appropriate IRS instructions.

I lost my 1098-T. What do I do now?

Log on to myIPFW look on the Enrollment Tab/Registration Tools/Tax Notification to print a copy  of your 1098-T. Since you don't attach the 1098-T to your 1040, that's not a problem. You can use your bills and receipts as the backup to claim the credit. Note for best results all student account data should be opened using Internet Explorer.

Should I attach the 1098-T to my tax return when I mail it?

No. The 1098-T is an informational report to you only. You should keep it in your tax file as backup, along with copies of your bills and receipts from each term. However, you must complete Form 8863 and attach it to your 1040 in order to claim a credit.

What information did IPFW send to the IRS?

For tax year 2016, financial data was sent to the IRS. This includes the amounts in the boxes 2-5 on form 1098-T.

What are the boxes on Form 1098-T?

Box 1 is not being used this year for reporting purposes.

Box 2 represents total amount billed for tuition and qualified fees during calendar year 2016.

Box 4 nets adjustments to the student's account. If a number is posted to box 4, then this amount should be subtracted from the amount in box 2. Items included in box 4 are the tuition and fee adjustments to the prior year.

Box 5 reflects financial aid and scholarships made to the student during the tax year. If the student's aid exceeds tuition and fees, then the tax credit may not be taken. Remember to subtract box 5 from box 2.

Box 6 shows adjustments for scholarships and/or grants for a semester held in the prior tax year. Remember to subtract box 6 from box 2.

Box 7 will be marked with a "X" if the student made a registration in tax year 2016 but the class is scheduled for calendar year 2017. The registration amount is reflected in box 2.

Box 8 tells the student if he/she qualifies for the American Opportunity Tax Credit. The law states that a student must be enrolled at least half time (minimum of six credit hours in one semester) in a degree or certificate program. If the student qualifies, then the box will be marked with a "X". You do not have to meet the credit hour requirement to qualify for the Lifetime Learning credit