Tax Benefits for Education
Several tax benefits are available to help families meet the cost of postsecondary education. Two of those benefits are tax credits known as the Lifetime Learning Credit or the American Opportunity Credit (formerly named the Hope Lifetime Learning Credit). These tax credits directly reduce the amount of federal income tax owed. Seton Hall University has mailed the required Internal Revenue Service Form 1098-T (Tuition Payments Statement) to every student enrolled during the previous tax year to verify a student's enrollment for at least half time and/or as a graduate.
Seton Hall University cannot provide you with tax advice or assistance in determining whether you are eligible to claim a tax credit or how to claim a tax credit. To determine whether you, or the person who may claim you as a dependent, are eligible to claim either tax credit, please contact a tax professional or refer to IRS Publication 970 (Tax Benefits for Higher Education). If you need more information, please contact the IRS at 800-892-1040 or visit their website at www.irs.gov/taxtopics
Frequently Asked Questions about the Educational Tax Incentives:
- If I receive Form 1098-T, does it mean I qualify for the American Opportunity Credit or Lifetime Learning Tax Credits?
- What is the American Opportunity Credit?
- Is it possible to qualify for both the American Opportunity Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credits, and if so, may I choose which one I would like to claim?
- How do I determine which expenses will qualify for the American Opportunity Credit and Lifetime Learning Credits?
If I receive Form 1098-T, does it mean I qualify for the American Opportunity Credit or Lifetime Learning Tax Credits?
Not necessarily. The University is required to provide Form 1098-T to individuals for who qualified tuition and fees were received during the calendar year. Determination of eligibility is the responsibility of the taxpayer.
What is the American Opportunity Credit?
You may be able to claim an American Opportunity Credit of up to $2,500 for qualified tuition and other educational expenses. The credit is available for the first 4 years of postsecondary education and 40% of the credit (up to $1,000) is refundable for many taxpayers. Students must be enrolled at least half-time during at least one academic period that begins during a tax year.
Is it possible to qualify for both the American Opportunity Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credits, and if so, may I choose which one I would like to claim?
Yes, a student may qualify for both the AmericanOpportunity Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credits at the same time. However, the qualifying expenses are the basis for claiming the American Opportunity Credit or Lifetime Learning Credit, but not both. In general, students who qualify for both the American Opportunity Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit may find the American Opportunity Credit to be more beneficial.
How do I determine which expenses will qualify for the American Opportunity Credit and Lifetime Learning Credits?
Each individual must determine which, if any, of the expenses paid may be used in the calculation of the education tax credits. Generally the only qualified expenses are tuition and fees for enrollment or attendance less the net of scholarships, grants, and VA benefits. Please note that any amounts paid for room and board, insurance, medical fees, transportation, and similar living expenses are not considered eligible. If you have additional questions regarding these qualifications please contact your tax preparer.
Frequently Asked Questions about the 1098T
- What is Form 1098-T (Tuition Payments Statement)?
- Who prepared Form 1098-T?
- When will I receive my 1098-T?
- How can I obtain a copy of the 1098-T?
- Why did I receive Form 1098-T?
- What is Seton Hall University's Tax ID Number?
- Why is Box 1 'Payments Received' blank?
- Why are all my boxes blank?
- Why is Box 2 is blank, but there are amounts in Box 5?
- What if the amount in Box 5 exceeds Box 2, and my tax software is counting it as income?
- What if my social security number is incorrect?
What is Form 1098-T (Tuition Payments Statement)?
Form 1098-T is sent in January to students at Seton Hall University for whom any financial activity has occurred during the last calendar year.
Who prepared Form 1098-T?
Seton Hall University prepared the information on form 1098-T based on information provided by Enrollment Services.
When will I receive my 1098-T?
All 1098-T’s will be mailed by January 31st. If you did not receive yours, or if you require a duplicate, the best way to obtain a copy is online through Pirate Net.
How can I obtain a copy of the 1098-T?
The 1098’Ts are available online through Pirate Net for viewing and printing. Log in to Pirate Net and click on the Profile & Finances tab. Under Bursar account, click “IRS Form 1098-T.” Enter your desired tax year.
Why did I receive Form 1098-T?
Form 1098-T has been provided to assist in determining if you, or the individual who may claim you as a dependent, are eligible to claim an income tax credit on the previous year income tax return. You have received a 1098-T form if you have had any financial or registration activity at Seton Hall University.
The Tax Relief Act of 1997 states that educational institutions are required to file informational returns with the IRS indicating a student’s enrollment, and report either amounts billed, OR payments received, for qualified tuition and related expenses. Seton Hall University has opted to provide the amounts billed information. The 1098-T form the student receives in the mail is the information that was sent to the IRS by Seton Hall University. The form is an informational return for your personal records, and is not required to be submitted with your tax return.
What is Seton Hall University’s Tax ID Number?
Seton Hall’s Federal Filer’s identification number is 221500645.
Why is Box 1 ‘Payments Received’ blank?
The 1098-T does not reflect payments. The Internal Revenue Service's tax regulation indicates that a university is required to either report the amount paid by a student in box 1 OR the amount billed to a student in box 2 on Form 1098-T. Seton Hall University has elected to report qualified tuition and related expenses less any related reductions in charges. Box 1 will always be blank.
Why are all my boxes blank?
If all of the boxes on your 1098-T reflect 0.00, you did not have any qualified tuition or related expenses billed to your account between January 1 and December 31 of that tax year. For example, if you are a Spring graduate but you registered for your courses during pre-registration in December, that semester’s tuition charges were on your previous year’s 1098-T form.
Why is Box 2 is blank, but there are amounts in Box 5?
Each box is determined by the calendar date that items were applied to your account. Typically for Spring terms, registration occurs in December and scholarships/grants are applied after Add/Drop in January. This timing would cause your Spring term to be split between two tax years. Tuition and qualified expenses were in Box 2 of last year’s form, and scholarships/grants are in Box 5 of this year.
What if the amount in Box 5 exceeds Box 2, and my tax software is counting it as income?
The 1098-T form is not meant to be an indicator of income. The form is an informational return for your personal records, and is not required to be submitted with your tax return. IRS Form 1098-T contains information to assist the IRS and you in determining if you are eligible to claim educational related tax credits such as the American Opportunity Credit and Lifetime Learning Tax Credit. Please consult with your tax preparer if you have additional questions regarding how the 1098-T relates to your specific tax preparation.
What if my social security number is incorrect?
Changes to your social security number must be made with the Office of the Registrar (Registrar@shu.edu or (973) 761-9374). The form you received has already been sent to the IRS, so we are unable to make any changes.
View an example and explanation of each section of the 1098T IRS Form »
For additional questions please send an e-mail to Bursar@shu.edu. In the subject line write your name, SHU ID Number, and '1098-T Question'.
You may also call (800) 222-7183 to speak with a representative.
More detailed information is also available at the following websites: