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emily34
Returning Member

Grad Health Insurance and 1098-T

I am a graduate research assistant, so I am employed by my university. I get a W2 and all of my fees paid for, including health insurance, as a benefit of my employment. Box 5 on my 1098-T includes the money paid for by my employment for health insurance. I've seen conflicting info on if this is taxed - as I understand it, if this was from a fellowship or something, it would be taxed. But this is from my employment, so I think it should not be? Is it not the same as if I had a normal industry job that paid for my health insurance premiums, which is normally an untaxed benefit?

 

If I'm correct that it's untaxed, should I enter it as tax-free employer provided assistance or as something else?

 

Thanks!!

4 Replies
Hal_Al
Level 15

Grad Health Insurance and 1098-T

It's not clear what's going on there.  Employer paid health insurance is not reported in box 5 of a 1098-T, even at a university.  If anywhere, it's in box 12 or box 14 of the W-2.  The most likely explanation is you're confused.

 

But the simple rule is that anything in box 5 is tax free if used for qualified educational expenses (QEE).  Your QEE are shown in box 1 of the 1098-T.   The difference between the two is taxable income (if box 5 is more than box 1).   You may reduce the taxable amount by any other QEE you have, not shown in box 1. e.g. books.

KrisD15
Expert Alumni

Grad Health Insurance and 1098-T

You should speak with the HR department. 

If it were reported on the W-2, you're right, it would not be taxable income. 

Reported in Box 5 of the 1098-T does make it taxable. 

 

In order to treat the funds as employer provided health insurance, it would need to be reported on your W-2. 

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emily34
Returning Member

Grad Health Insurance and 1098-T

To clarify - it is not on my W2. My situation is a little unique in that I am the employee of a national lab affiliated with my university. They pay for my health insurance through fee remissions, which is why they show up on my 1098-T rather than a W2. I am certain that this fee on my box 5 was for health insurance. The insurance is definitely a benefit of employment though - if I was not employed, it would not be paid for. (This is not a fellowship or grant either). In past years when I was employed through the university directly, the health insurance was still a tax-free benefit of my employment, and was not on the 1098-T or the W2. I believe that it only showed up differently this year because of the national lab affiliation.

AmyC
Expert Alumni

Grad Health Insurance and 1098-T

Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance is not taxable. Call the issuer and find out where the numbers are coming from.

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