I've been getting conflicting information... Do I use the scholarships that were credited on the college invoices, so they can be applied to the invoice charges, or strictly use the 1098-T box 5 amount?
The Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 invoices each have a column of "Charges" and a column of "Credits" - which has the scholarships & grants (and money I paid), resulting in a balance of $0. The 1098-T has scholarships from Fall '18 & Spring '19 (last year). It also has some of the scholarships for Fall '19 but is missing all the Spring '20 amounts. What should I do?
Because you are filing for 2019, you use the tuition paid and scholarships received from your 2019 1098-T. Your tuition paid and scholarships received for 2020 will be reported on your 2020 Form 1098-T.
If you paid tuition and received a scholarship against the tuition amount in 2019 and it did not "post" at the college until 2020 (e.g., on the last day of the year), you can enter that additional tuition paid and scholarship received for your 2019 taxes. Click the "What if this is not the amount paid" link under box 1 of your Form 1098-T entry page to enter the total tuition paid in 2019 (including the amount paid by the scholarship). Then, in the Scholarship/Grant section on the "Did [student] Receive a Scholarship or Grant?" screen, enter the scholarship amount not reported on your 1098-T.
Be sure that in 2020 you do not report these same amounts when they are reported on the 2020 Form 1098-T from the college.
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Thanks for responding. The 1098-T for 2019 has the amounts paid (tuition and fees) for the Fall 2019 semester AND the Spring 2020 semester (in the 2018 tax year, it was Fall '18 & Spring '19). As far as the amounts paid goes, what's on the invoices matches the 1098-T. The problem is with the scholarships. When you say "received a scholarship" I've been assuming that I "received it" because it is listed as a credit on the invoice. Is this the case or do I "receive it" when the college receives/posts it? Finally, if I "enter the scholarship amount not reported on your 1098-T" (in this case Spring 2020), what do I do about the 1098-T scholarship amounts that were for the last tax year? Do I enter them on the next page in the "Was any of the scholarship income not designated to pay 2019 expenses" box? I'm trying to go by the TT "Learn More" help item: "Scholarship Income Not Allocable to 2019" which says "scholarship income must reduce qualified education expenses for each period of study that assistance is allocable to".
In reply to your questions:
1) It is easier to match the expenses with the scholarship. Since you had a credit on your invoice, but it is for next semester, it is open to interpretation. The main point is that the education amounts are reported once only.
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