Student Tax Credit




The 1098-T is an information form only; it does not contain all the information needed to determine the education tax credit, and it is not attached to the taxpayer’s federal income tax return. The tax credit is calculated based on actual payments made and the tax credit is claimed on IRS Form 8863. Details of payments posted to the student’s account is available online to students via the secure MySLCC student portal following the directions given below.

In previous years SLCC reported qualified charges in Box 2 of Form 1098-T. Due to a change in institutional reporting requirements under federal law, beginning with tax year 2018, SLCC will report payments made for “Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses” (QTRE) during the applicable calendar year in Box 1.

In addition to the payments made for QTRE in Box 1, there may be other qualifying education expenses such as textbooks and required course supplies to be considered when determining the tax credit. Because the tax credit is based on payments for all qualifying expenses, the determined tax credit may not agree with the payments reported to the IRS on the Form 1098-T.

Please note that SLCC is not required to furnish a Form 1098-T for the following:

  • Courses for which no academic credit is offered, even if the student is otherwise enrolled in a degree program;
  • Nonresident alien students, unless requested by the student;
  • Students whose qualified tuition and related expenses are entirely waived or paid entirely with scholarships; and
  • Students for whom we do not maintain a separate financial account and whose qualified tuition and related expenses are covered by a formal billing arrangement between the institution and the student’s employer or a governmental entity, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Department of Defense.

It is the taxpayer’s responsibility to determine and calculate the appropriate tax credit he or she may be eligible to claim on the 2020 federal income tax return. Please consult IRS regulations and instructions and/or a tax professional for assistance in claiming your education credits. Specific information and instructions can be found in the following IRS forms and publications:

  • IRS Form 8863 - Education Credits
  • IRS Publication 970 - Tax Benefits for Education


The 1098-T forms for 2020 will be mailed or delivered electronically, if elected, to students prior to January 31, 2021. Per IRS regulations, forms are mailed only to students enrolled in courses taken for academic credit, meaning those courses that lead to a postsecondary degree, or other recognized postsecondary educational credential. However, all students may see a facsimile of the 1098-T form and details of all payments and charges posted to their account via the SLCC- MySLCC website using the following directions:

  • Find SLCC’s homepage:
  • Click on the “MySLCC” link
  • Enter your username and password in the “MySLCC” login boxes
  • Click on the “Academics & Records” tab
  • Under the “Academic Records” Section, find & click on “1098-T Tax Notification Form”
  • Enter “2020” for the tax year and click the “submit” button 
    (prior year 1098-T information may be viewed and obtained by entering the appropriate tax year in this field)
  • This information can be printed for the tax payer’s records.


BOX 1 – Payments Received for Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses (QTRE)

Box 1 of Form 1098-T reports the QTRE paid during the calendar year. QTRE includes tuition, fees, and course materials required for a student to be enrolled at or attend SLCC. QTRE does not include the following:

  • Amounts paid for any course or other education involving sports, games, or hobbies, unless the course or other education is part of the student’s degree program or is taken to acquire or improve job skills.
  • Charges and fees for room, board, insurance, medical expenses (including student health fees), transportation, and similar personal, living, or family expenses.

Note that the amount reported in Box 1 is not necessarily the amount the student paid out-of-pocket for QTRE but the amount paid from any source including scholarships or grants.

BOX 5 – Scholarships or Grants

Box 5 of Form 1098-T reports the total scholarships, grants, waivers or sponsor paid amounts that were received and posted to a student’s account in calendar year 2020. Student loans received are not considered as financial aid, but are considered as student payments.

The amount of any scholarships or grants reported for the calendar year and other similar amounts not reported (because they are not administered and processed by SLCC) may reduce the amount of any allowable education credit the student is entitled to.

BOX 6 – Adjustments to Scholarships or Grants for a Prior Year

Colleges are required to report adjustments to scholarships or grants for school semesters that were reported on a prior year Form 1098-T if those adjustments occurred during the 2020 calendar year. Any adjustments that would have increased the prior year reported scholarships or grants received are added with the current year reporting in Box 5 and should be included with your current year tax credit calculation. However, any adjustments that would have decreased the amount reported as scholarships or grants on a prior year form are reported in Box 6.

Please consult IRS regulations and instructions and/or a tax professional for assistance in calculating and claiming an education tax credit.



There are two tax credits for qualifying higher education expenses: the American Opportunity Credit (a modification of the previously known Hope Credit) and the Lifetime Learning Credit. Both credits are claimed by filing IRS Form 8863 with the taxpayer’s federal income tax return. The credits are available to help eligible families (individuals) reduce the amount they pay out-of-pocket for tuition and other qualified education expenses for postsecondary education. The table below is a comparison of the American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning Credits:

2020 IRS Publication 970

American Opportunity Credit

Lifetime Learning Credit

Maximum credit

Up to $2,500 per eligible student

Up to $2,000 per return

Limit on modified adjusted gross income (magi)

$180,000 if married filing jointly; $90,000 if single, head of household, or qualifying widow(er)

$136,000 if married filing jointly; $68,000 if single, head of household, or qualifying widow(er)

Refundable or nonrefundable

40% of credit may be refundable, the rest is nonrefundable

Nonrefundable—credit limited to the amount of tax you must pay on your taxable income

Number of years of postsecondary education

Available ONLY if the student had not completed the first 4 years of postsecondary education before 2020 (generally, the freshman through senior years, determined by the eligible educational institution, not including academic credit awarded solely because of the student’s performance on proficiency examinations)

Available for all years of postsecondary education and for courses to acquire or improve job skills

Number of tax years credit is available

Available ONLY for 4 tax years per eligible student (including any year(s) Hope scholarship credit was claimed)

Available for an unlimited number of tax years

Type of program required

Student must be pursuing a program leading to a degree or other recognized education credential

Student doesn’t need to be pursuing a program leading to a degree or other recognized education credential.

Number of courses

Student must be enrolled at least half-time for at least one academic period that begins during 2020 (or the first 3 months of 2021 if the qualified expenses were paid in 2020)

Available for one or more courses

Felony drug conviction

As of the end of 2020, the student had not been convicted of a felony for possessing or distributing a controlled substance

Felony drug convictions don’t make the student ineligible

Qualified expenses

Tuition, required enrollment fees, and course materials that the student needs for a course of study whether or not the materials are bought at the educational institution as a condition of enrollment or attendance

Tuition and fees required for enrollment or attendance (including amounts required to be paid to the institution for course-related books, supplies, and equipment)

Payments for academic periods

Payments made in 2020 for academic periods beginning in 2020 or beginning in the first 3 months of 2021

Payments made in 2020 for academic periods beginning in 2020 or beginning in the first 3 months of 2021

The above information is provided for the student’s convenience and informational purposes only and cannot be considered as or relied upon as tax advice. Salt lake Community College cannot determine if a student qualifies for one of these tax credits or the amount of the credit due. Please consult IRS regulations and instructions and/or a tax professional for assistance in claiming your education credits.