Yes. The person claiming the student as a dependent gets to file the student's 1098-T.
If the student is not a dependent of another taxpayer, then the student files his/her own 1098-T.
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Q. Does the student have to be my dependent in order for me to file the 1098-T form?
A. Simple answer: yes. The student must be your dependent for you to claim either of the education credits or the Tuition and Fees deduction.
But, if you took a distribution from a Qualified Tuition Plan (529 or ESA), you may claim the student-beneficiary's educational expenses, even if he is not your dependent.
Technically, nobody "files" the 1098-T form. It is just informational document.
My daughter was my dependent until last year and I claimed 1099-Q and 1098-T tuition on my tax form. However this year I am getting her to file her own taxes, so I wont be claiming her as a dependent. But the 1099-Q is in my name. Can I enter the 1099-Q on my tax form and also claim her education expense even though I am not claiming her aa a dependent?
Q. Can I enter the 1099-Q on my tax form and also claim her education expense even though I am not claiming her aa a dependent?
In fact, the TT interview is simpler in your situation. After telling TT that the beneficiary is "someone else", you will be given boxes to enter the expenses directly.
You have to coordinate with your daughter. If she is claiming a tuition credit, you cannot use the same expense that she uses. That's usually not a problem, as you can use room & board expenses and she can't.
Qualified Tuition Plans (QTP 529 Plans) Distributions
For 529 plans, there is an “owner” (usually the parent), and a “beneficiary” (usually the student dependent but can be a non 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 your return, the 1098-T should go on the student's return, so she can claim the education credit.
You can and should claim the tuition credit before claiming the 529 plan earnings exclusion. The educational expenses you claim for the 1099-Q should be reduced by the amount of educational expenses she claims for the credit.
But be aware, you can not double dip. You cannot count the same tuition money, for the1099-Q, that gets her an exclusion from the tuition credit. Since the credit is usually more generous (not always true when student is under 24); use as much of the tuition as is needed for the credit and the rest for the interest exclusion. Another special rule allows her to claim the tuition credit even though it was your 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. You'll have to pay tax on the earnings, 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.
$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
Box 1 of the 1099-Q is $5000
Box 2 is $600
3000/5000=60% of the earnings are tax free; 40% are taxable
40% x 600= $240
You have $240 of taxable income
**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. Most people come out better having the scholarship taxable before the 529 earnings.
Thanks for your reply. I believe it clears up few things. Did want to confirm 100%
1) When I am filling up the tax forms for my daughter, Turbotax asks if she received any 1098-T. Since the 1098-T is in her name, i have to report it in there. But then it automatically uses all the tuition from that form for her education expenses. Whereas I would like to claim those expenses against the 529 earnings. Do I just ignore the prompt for 1098-T on her form? If I do that, then it will not give me any opportunity to get her education credits.
You have to adjust, on your return, for what she uses on her tax return for the credit.
You also have to adjust for any scholarships shown in box 5.
At the screen where you enter expenses (on your return); under adjustments, enter the box 5 (1098-T) amount in the "Tax-Free assistance" box and enter the amount she used for the credit in the "Other adjustments" box.
Typically she only uses $4000 of the box 1 (1098-T) for the American Opportunity credit.