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Educational Tax Benefits

Educational Tax Benefits

QUICK LINKS: IRS Tax Benefits for Education: Information Center
  IRS YouTube Channel: Education Tax Credits
  Tax Breaks for Higher Education (Annual Guide prepared by NASFAA)

SPU mails Tuition Statements (form 1098-T) between January 25 and January 31.

The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 created the Hope Scholarship and the Lifetime Learning tax credit. In 2009, the American Opportunity Tax Credit was created to replace the Hope Scholarship. The American Opportunity Tax Credit is available on a per-student basis for the first four years of postsecondary education, while the Lifetime Learning Credit applies on a tax-return basis and covers a broader time frame and broader range of educational courses. Taxpayers can claim one, or in some cases both, of these credits for postsecondary education expenses, for themselves and/or their dependent children. Seattle Pacific University sends out Tuition Statements (form 1098-T) to students' permanent residences in late January; at that time an online version of the 1098-T form with supporting transaction details will be available under the Student Menu / Student Account Menu in Banner.

You are responsible for the accuracy of the information you provide to the IRS. The tax law is complex and there are very specific regulations regarding eligibility. Seattle Pacific University is not able to give tax advice. We cannot help you determine what you should report, or tell you if you qualify for the tax credit. If you have any questions regarding the American Opportunity Tax Credit or Lifetime Learning Credit, please contact a tax advisor.

For additional free information to help you understand this tax benefit and your eligibility, please refer to the following IRS publications (available online at or by calling 1-800-TAXFORM):
  • IRS Publication 970 Tax Benefits for Higher Education
  • IRS publication 8863 Education Credits.

Last Updated: 7/11/2014