turbotax icon
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
turbotax icon
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
turbotax icon
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
turbotax icon
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Announcements
Close icon
Do you have a TurboTax Online account?

We'll help you get started or pick up where you left off.

JB7
Level 3

1098-T incorrect - what to do?

I have download my son's 1098-T from his college website, along with some supporting information that shows how the numbers on the 1098-T were arrived at. Box 1 shows tuition and fees for both Fall 2020 and Spring 2021, and the supporting data shows these were both included in Box 1 because the Spring 2021 tuition / fees were billed in December 2020. BUT, I did not pay the Spring 2021 bill until January 2021, so i feel that Box 1 is incorrect. (Note that Box 2 is blank). A call to the college today did not get me any clarification on this.

 

1. What do I do now? File my taxes using what I think is incorrect data and risk an amended return if the college decides to send a revised 1098-T someday? Or ignore the numbers and enter what I know I paid in 2020 for the Box 1 value?

 

2. Room and board charges are not part of the 1098-T but come into play since I used 529 funds to pay for part of them. Any reason I can't save the 2021 Spring room and board for my 2021 return, since I paid them in 2021?

Connect with an expert
x
Do you have an Intuit account?

Do you have an Intuit account?

You'll need to sign in or create an account to connect with an expert.

1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
Hal_Al
Level 15

1098-T incorrect - what to do?

Q. What do I do now? Ignore the numbers and enter what I know I paid in 2020 for the Box 1 value?

A. Yes. You claim the tuition credit, or report scholarship income, based on your own financial records, not the 1098-T. In the 1098-T screen, click on the link "What if this is not what I paid the school" underneath box 1. You will then be able to enter the actual amounts paid.  The 1098-T is only an informational document. The numbers on it are not required to be entered onto your tax return. 

 

Q.  Any reason I can't save the 2021 Spring room and board for my 2021 return, since I paid them in 2021?

A. No. In fact, you cannot claim them on your 2020 return, since you paid them in 2021.

 

You didn't ask, but here's some more info on 529 distributions:

Qualified Tuition Plans  (QTP 529 Plans)

It’s complicated.

For 529 plans, there is an “owner” (usually the parent), and a “beneficiary” (usually the student dependent). The "recipient" of the distribution can be either the owner or the beneficiary depending on who the money was sent to. When the money goes directly from the Qualified Tuition Plan (QTP) to the school, the student is the "recipient". The distribution will be reported on IRS form 1099-Q. 
The 1099-Q gets reported on the recipient's return.** The recipient's name & SS# will be on the 1099-Q.
Even though the 1099-Q is going on the student's return, the 1098-T should go on the parent's return, so you can claim the education credit. You can do this because he is your dependent.

You can and should claim the tuition credit before claiming the 529 plan earnings exclusion. The educational expenses he claims for the 1099-Q should be reduced by the amount of educational expenses you claim for the credit.
But be aware, you can not double dip. You cannot count the same tuition money, for the tuition credit,  that gets him an exclusion from the taxability of the earnings (interest) on the 529 plan. Since the credit is more generous; use as much of the tuition as is needed for the credit and the rest for the interest exclusion. Another special rule allows you to claim the tuition credit even though it was "his" money that paid the tuition.
In addition, there is another rule that says the 10% penalty is waived if he was unable to cover the 529 plan withdrawal with educational expenses either because he got scholarships or the expenses were used (by him or the parents) to claim the credits. He'll have to pay tax on the earnings, at his lower tax rate (subject to the “kiddie tax”), but not the penalty.

 

Total qualified expenses (including room & board) less amounts paid by scholarship less amounts used to claim the Tuition credit equals the amount you can use to claim the earnings exclusion on the 1099-Q. 
Example:
  $10,000 in educational expenses(including room & board)

   -$3000 paid by tax free scholarship***

   -$4000 used to claim the American Opportunity credit

 =$3000 Can be used against the 1099-Q (usually on the student’s return)

 

Box 1 of the 1099-Q is $5000

Box 2 is $600

3000/5000=60% of the earnings are tax free

60%x600= $360

You have $240 of taxable income (600-360)

 

**Alternatively; you can just not report the 1099-Q, at all, if your student-beneficiary has sufficient educational expenses, including room & board (even if he lives at home) to cover the distribution. You would still have to do the math to see if there were enough expenses left over for you to claim the tuition credit. Again, you cannot double dip!  When the box 1 amount on form 1099-Q is fully covered by expenses, TurboTax will enter nothing about the 1099-Q on the actual tax forms. But, it will prepare a 1099-Q worksheet for your records, in case of an IRS inquiry.

On form 1099-Q, instructions to the recipient reads: "Nontaxable distributions from CESAs and QTPs are not required to be reported on your income tax return. You must determine the taxability of any distribution." 

***Another alternative is have the student report some of his scholarship as taxable income, to free up some expenses for the 1099-Q and/or tuition credit.

View solution in original post

2 Replies
Hal_Al
Level 15

1098-T incorrect - what to do?

Q. What do I do now? Ignore the numbers and enter what I know I paid in 2020 for the Box 1 value?

A. Yes. You claim the tuition credit, or report scholarship income, based on your own financial records, not the 1098-T. In the 1098-T screen, click on the link "What if this is not what I paid the school" underneath box 1. You will then be able to enter the actual amounts paid.  The 1098-T is only an informational document. The numbers on it are not required to be entered onto your tax return. 

 

Q.  Any reason I can't save the 2021 Spring room and board for my 2021 return, since I paid them in 2021?

A. No. In fact, you cannot claim them on your 2020 return, since you paid them in 2021.

 

You didn't ask, but here's some more info on 529 distributions:

Qualified Tuition Plans  (QTP 529 Plans)

It’s complicated.

For 529 plans, there is an “owner” (usually the parent), and a “beneficiary” (usually the student dependent). The "recipient" of the distribution can be either the owner or the beneficiary depending on who the money was sent to. When the money goes directly from the Qualified Tuition Plan (QTP) to the school, the student is the "recipient". The distribution will be reported on IRS form 1099-Q. 
The 1099-Q gets reported on the recipient's return.** The recipient's name & SS# will be on the 1099-Q.
Even though the 1099-Q is going on the student's return, the 1098-T should go on the parent's return, so you can claim the education credit. You can do this because he is your dependent.

You can and should claim the tuition credit before claiming the 529 plan earnings exclusion. The educational expenses he claims for the 1099-Q should be reduced by the amount of educational expenses you claim for the credit.
But be aware, you can not double dip. You cannot count the same tuition money, for the tuition credit,  that gets him an exclusion from the taxability of the earnings (interest) on the 529 plan. Since the credit is more generous; use as much of the tuition as is needed for the credit and the rest for the interest exclusion. Another special rule allows you to claim the tuition credit even though it was "his" money that paid the tuition.
In addition, there is another rule that says the 10% penalty is waived if he was unable to cover the 529 plan withdrawal with educational expenses either because he got scholarships or the expenses were used (by him or the parents) to claim the credits. He'll have to pay tax on the earnings, at his lower tax rate (subject to the “kiddie tax”), but not the penalty.

 

Total qualified expenses (including room & board) less amounts paid by scholarship less amounts used to claim the Tuition credit equals the amount you can use to claim the earnings exclusion on the 1099-Q. 
Example:
  $10,000 in educational expenses(including room & board)

   -$3000 paid by tax free scholarship***

   -$4000 used to claim the American Opportunity credit

 =$3000 Can be used against the 1099-Q (usually on the student’s return)

 

Box 1 of the 1099-Q is $5000

Box 2 is $600

3000/5000=60% of the earnings are tax free

60%x600= $360

You have $240 of taxable income (600-360)

 

**Alternatively; you can just not report the 1099-Q, at all, if your student-beneficiary has sufficient educational expenses, including room & board (even if he lives at home) to cover the distribution. You would still have to do the math to see if there were enough expenses left over for you to claim the tuition credit. Again, you cannot double dip!  When the box 1 amount on form 1099-Q is fully covered by expenses, TurboTax will enter nothing about the 1099-Q on the actual tax forms. But, it will prepare a 1099-Q worksheet for your records, in case of an IRS inquiry.

On form 1099-Q, instructions to the recipient reads: "Nontaxable distributions from CESAs and QTPs are not required to be reported on your income tax return. You must determine the taxability of any distribution." 

***Another alternative is have the student report some of his scholarship as taxable income, to free up some expenses for the 1099-Q and/or tuition credit.

JB7
Level 3

1098-T incorrect - what to do?

Thanks. Using the correct numbers it looks like I will still be able to claim a partial ($2000) AOTC and pay a small amount of tax on the scholarship and an excess 529 withdrawal; I ran some numbers and trying to get the full $2500 AOTC actually costs more than $500 in additional taxes. It makes me wonder if I would have been better paying the Spring 2021 bill early, but that ship has sailed.

 

Edit - also thanks for mentioning adding the 529 withdrawal rules. In the future I will send the funds directly to the school so that a small excess withdrawal will not cause any additional taxes.

message box icon

Get more help

Ask questions and learn more about your taxes and finances.

Post your Question
Manage cookies