Educational Tax Benefits

U.S. tax benefits

Seattle Pacific University will report to the IRS the required information about students billed for at least one credit hour in any academic quarter of a tax year.

SPU reports the amount of tuition charges for the year and will provide to students the IRS Tax Form 1098T as required by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997. The tax form should be used by your tax preparer to determine your eligibility for a tax credit. The 1098T forms are mailed to students by January 31 of the following year.

Because each taxpayer’s circumstances are unique, Seattle Pacific University cannot provide tax advice or assistance related to tax credits or how to claim the credit. Contact your tax adviser or the IRS for questions about the Lifetime Learning Credit or American Opportunity Credit.

Visit the IRS Tax Benefits for Education: Information Center, the IRS YouTube Channel, and see tax breaks for higher education with the Annual Guide prepared by NASFAA.

Tax credits 

American Opportunity Credit

The American Opportunity Credit is a tax credit for qualified education expenses paid for an eligible student, of up to $2,500 per eligible student. The student may be you, your spouse, or your dependent(s). If you take this credit, you may not also claim the Lifetime Learning Credit.

Lifetime Learning Credit

The Lifetime Learning Credit is a tax credit for anyone who takes college classes. It provides a tax credit of up to $2,000 on the first $10,000 of college tuition and fees.

You can claim the Lifetime Learning Credit on your tax return if you, your spouse, or your dependent is enrolled at an eligible educational institution and you were responsible for paying college expenses. You do not need to be enrolled at least half-time. Even if you took only one class, you may take advantage of the Lifetime Learning Credit.

Tax Deductions 

Tuition and fees tax deduction

You may be able to deduct qualified education expenses paid during the year for yourself, your spouse, or your dependent(s). The tuition and fees deduction can reduce the amount of your income subject to tax by up to $4,000.

Student loan interest deduction

Student loan interest is interest you paid during the year on a qualified student loan. It includes both required and voluntary interest payments. You can reduce your income subject to tax by up to $2,500.

Nonresident alien reporting 

Seattle Pacific University will provide U.S. tax form 1042-S to all nonresident aliens by March 15. Form 1042-S is used to report income paid to a nonresident alien regardless of whether the payment is taxable. It can be used to report wages exempt under a tax treaty, wages earned as an independent contractor, royalties, and scholarship or fellowship grants. Students receiving form 1042-S may also receive a W-2, but not all those who receive a W-2 may necessarily receive a 1042-S.

“When it was clear to my parents that I wanted to pursue music, they supported me 100 percent. Money was tight, but my parents would save up so I could have an instrument and travel with my high school band.”