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Question asks "Was any of the scholarship income not designated to pay 2023 education expenses?" Would I say Yes since I got a refund for the leftover scholarship amount?

I received a refund for fall 2023 since my scholarship had more money than required from tuition.
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Hal_Al
Level 15

Question asks "Was any of the scholarship income not designated to pay 2023 education expenses?" Would I say Yes since I got a refund for the leftover scholarship amount?

Q. Question asks "Was any of the scholarship income not designated to pay 2023 education expenses?" Would I say Yes since I got a refund for the leftover scholarship amount?

A. No.  That question is for situations where the school has mismatched the calendar years for payments (box 1 on the 1098-T) and scholarship (box 5).

 

You situation is already covered by the fact that box 5 of the 1098-T is (usually) more than box 1.

 

You, and (usually) your parents should be aware that there is a tax “loop hole” available. The student reports all his scholarship, up to the amount needed to claim the American Opportunity Credit (AOC), as income on his return. That way, the parents  (or himself, if he is not a dependent) can claim the tuition credit on their return. They can do this because that much tuition was no longer paid by "tax free" scholarship.  You cannot do this if the school’s billing statement specifically shows the scholarships being applied to tuition or if the conditions of the grant are that it be used to pay for qualified expenses.

Using an example: Student has $10,000 in box 5 of the 1098-T and $8000 in box 1. At first glance he/she has $2000 of taxable income and nobody can claim the American opportunity credit. But if she reports $6000 as income on her return, the parents can claim $4000 of qualified expenses on their return.

Books and computers are also qualifying expenses for the AOC. So, extending the example, the student had another $1000 in expenses for those course materials, paid out of pocket, she would only need to report $5000 of taxable scholarship income, instead of $6000.

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