It’s almost the end of the year, which means it’s almost time to start gathering up those forms for tax season!
As a student or alum, there are some things you should know about or consider regarding tuition you paid to WGU during 2015 and how it might affect your taxes. Gathering your yearly tax documents and then ensuring you report the appropriate information to the IRS can be a challenging and often confusing task. Following is some info and advice to help you!
WGU is now offering electronic 1098-T delivery to help you avoid slow/lost mail delivery! Online delivery is quick and secure, and it allows on-demand access to your forms all year. If you have not yet signed up for electronic delivery but would like to receive and access your 2015 1098-T online, please sign up by December 31, 2015.
If you have already signed up for electronic delivery, you do not need to sign up again. The form will be available to you on or before January 31, 2016. You will receive an email notification from WGU to your preferred email account when the form is ready. If you miss the email or do not receive it by January 31, you should still be able to follow these instructions to access your form:
- Log into your student portal.
- Select the resources tab.
- The 1098-T link will be at the bottom right hand side of the screen. Your form will be generated as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file which can be opened with Adobe Acrobat Reader (free software) and printed or saved for online filing.
The dollar amount that shows up on your 1098-T is the amount billed to you in 2015 by WGU, not the amount you actually paid. The IRS will want to know how much you actually paid when you file your taxes.
When you go to file, there will be two boxes on the form for payments. In one box you will report what you paid WGU, and in a second box the amount billed to you by WGU.
The amount billed to you by WGU will be on the 1098-T you receive, but to find out how much you actually paid:
- Log into the portal.
- Click the resources tab.
- Under the “Financial” heading there is a button called “Payment History.” There you will see your transactions from the previous 15 months.
The following information shown on your 1098-T from WGU should help you determine if you may take a tuition and fees deduction, or claim additional educational tax credit when filing to reduce your federal income tax:
Box 1: This box will always be blank. Western Governors University has elected to report the amount billed.
Box 2: The amount billed to the student for qualified tuition and related expenses, less any related reductions or refunds for the calendar year. This includes, but is not limited to, tuition charges, demonstration teaching application and cohort fees, educational leadership practicum fees, science lab fees, nursing program fees, and resource fees—less any waivers and amounts written off by WGU.
Box 3: Shows whether WGU changed its method of reporting. This box will not be checked.
Box 4: The amount of any adjustments made for a prior year for qualified tuition and related expenses that were reported on a prior year 1098-T form. It includes, but is not limited to, prior-year adjustments to tuition charges, demonstration teaching application and cohort fees, educational leadership practicum fees, science lab fees, nursing program fees, and resource fees—less any waivers and amounts written off by WGU.
Box 5: This box includes the total of all scholarships, grants, military education benefits, and fee waivers administered and processed by WGU. It includes, but is not limited to, scholarships with the exception of external scholarships, federal and state grants, and governmental payments such as VA and AmeriCorps. It does NOT include loans.
Box 6: The amount of any adjustments made for prior year scholarships, grants, military education benefits, and fee waivers that were reported on a prior year 1098-T Form. It includes, but is not limited to, scholarships with the exception of external scholarships, federal and state grants, and governmental payments such as VA and AmeriCorps. It does NOT include loans.
Box 7: Shows whether WGU is including amounts for an academic period in the year prior to the 1098-T year. This box will not be checked.
Box 8: Indicates whether you are considered to be carrying at least one-half the normal full-time academic workload for your course of study at WGU.
Box 9: Indicates whether you are considered to be enrolled in a program leading to a graduate degree, graduate-level certificate, or other recognized graduate-level educational credential.
Box 10: This box will always be blank on 1098-T form the student receives from WGU.
Mailed forms will arrive at your address 7–14 business days from date of postage. Please don’t hesitate to contact our Student Accounts office at (877) 435-7948 if you have additional questions or concerns.