If you or your parents pay for your UC tuition and fees, you may be able to offset the costs of school through federal tax credits.

What you need to know

How does it work?

The American Opportunity Tax Credit (for undergraduate students) and the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit (for graduate students) are federal programs that provide up to $2,500 and $2,000 a year respectively to help offset the cost of your tuition, fees, books and supplies. You or your parents will need your 1098-T form to get these credits.

How do I qualify?

For the American Opportunity Tax Credit: If you or your parents earn less than $180,000 a year ($90,000 for single filers) and you’re enrolled at UC at least half time, you may qualify. If your parents claim you as a dependent on their tax return, your parents get the credit.

For the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit: If you or your parents earn less than $131,000 a year ($65,000 for single filers), you may qualify.

What do I need to do?

1) You can access your 1098-T form by visiting the Tax Credit Reporting Service (TCRS) website. UC has contracted with TCRS to electronically produce your 1098-T form.

2) Make sure you verify the address in your browser (you’re entering personal information on this site):
1098t.com address bar

3) Login to the site using your UC student ID.  If you do not know your student ID or you attended another institution you may need to use your Social Security number. 

4)  From your student record page you will be able to print the form by selecting "View My 1098-T Tax Form" and choosing print.

If your parents claim you as a dependent on their tax return, simply forward the 1098-T form to them.   If your parents don’t claim you as a dependent and you file your own taxes, your tax preparer or tax filing software will guide you through the process. Be sure to include this tax form (form 8863).  

Other frequently asked questions

How much will I get?    

The maximum credit for the American Opportunity Tax Credit and Lifetime Learning Tax Credit is $2,500 and $2,000 respectively. Even if you do not owe taxes, you may be able to receive up to $1,000 (40 percent of the credit is refundable!) for the American Opportunity Tax Credit (the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit is nonrefundable).

What educational expenses qualify?    

Out-of-pocket payments for tuition, fees, textbooks, course materials and supplies qualify. 

Can I get the credit if I use loans to pay for school?        

Yes.  Qualified expenses paid with student or parent loans also are eligible for this tax credit.

I’m an undergraduate student and my parents have two children in college. Can they claim the credit for both of us?  

Yes, your parents can claim an education tax credit for both children, but only one credit per student. For example, if both children are undergraduates, your parents can claim the American Opportunity Tax Credit for both children as long as they are both undergraduates enrolled at least half time at an eligible institution and in their first four years of a program leading to a degree or certificate.

If your parents have one child as an undergraduate student and one child (who is claimed as a dependent) in graduate school, your parents can claim the American Opportunity Tax Credit for the undergrad and the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit for the grad student.

Keeping your information up to date

Every January, UC sends your tax information to the Tax Credit Reporting Service (TCRS). Please be sure to update your Social Security number or your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) with your campus Registrar’s Office so that it appears on your 1098-T. This will facilitate the process for obtaining the credit. If you have questions, you can contact TCRS by phone, (877) 467-3821.

About this website

The Taxpayer Relief Act requires UC campuses to report student information to the IRS. The University of California has contracted with the Tax Credit Reporting Service (TCRS) to electronically produce your IRS Form 1098-T Tuition Statement. Xerox Education Services, LLC, is doing business as ACS Education Services ("ACS").

The information above is up to date and to the best of our knowledge as of Jan. 2016. Please refer to IRS Publication 970 for the latest updates and for complete information on education benefits.