Business Services

TRA97 - Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997

Most Irvine Valley College and Saddleback College students who paid enrollment fees for classes receive a 1098-T statement in January each year. This information may be used for income tax credits, including the American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning credits. Statements are available online in mid- to late January.

If you did not receive your 1098-T Statement

The college probably doesn't have your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Per IRS regulations, students must provide an ITIN to receive a 1098-T Statement. This is usually your Social Security Number, but may be different for others, such as international students.

Step 1: Check your MySite 1098-T Information page. It will display the reason you did not receive a 1098-T Statement. This page is in MySite, under My Information on the left navigation panel.

Step 2: If your ITIN is required, click below for instructions on how to provide it:

Request for ITIN or correction to SSN

Step 3: After submitting your Form W-9S, contact the District 1098-T Help Line at 949-348-6098 or 1098t@socccd.edu to request your 1098-T Statement. In your email, please include your full name, Student ID Number and contact information.

Reasons to access your 1098-T Statement online

Benefits include:

  • Earlier access to statements – online access will be available in mid-January.
  • Access to statements back to 2005.
  • Self-service access 24/7
  • Access 1098-T statements from other colleges you attend (if those colleges reported tax information to Maximus).

 

How to get your statement

New students who have not created a Maximus account:

Step 1:  Create an account with Maximus TRA Services by visiting Maximus.com and select First Time Students.

Enter the last 5 digits of your Social Security Number and your First and Last Name.

Step 2:  Look for an E-mail from TRA Customer Service containing a temporary password.

Step 3:  Click on the link in the e-mail to access the login and account set-up screens. Go to Step 4

 

Students with an existing Maximus login:

Step 4:  Log into Maximus TRA Services at https://tra.maximus.com

Step 5:  Select View/Print 1098-T to access your statement.

The Maximus site has a link for Student Help if you have trouble logging in or need additional assistance. 

The Maximus TRA Services Help Desk phone is 800-223-0043 (available 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Eastern Time)

Getting help from your college

For questions about your 1098-T statement, use the contact information for your college below. Include your full name, Student ID Number and contact information.

 

Saddleback College Student Payment Office

Student Services Center, Room 208

(949) 582-4870

scpayment@saddleback.edu

 

Irvine Valley College Bursar's Office

Student Services Center, Room 160

(949) 451-5600

ivcbursars@ivc.edu

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is TRA97?
The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 (TRA97) allows certain taxpayers who pay qualified tuition and related expenses to an eligible educational institution to claim an American Opportunity Credit or Lifetime Learning Credit.  These tax credits can help offset the costs of higher education by reducing the amount of income tax owed. Accordingly, eligible educational institutions that receive qualified tuition & related expenses must file Form 1098-T for each student. Please refer to your 1098-T statement for instructions and additional information. If you have questions about your eligibility for the education tax credits, please contact the Internal Revenue Service at 1-800-829-1040 or consult your tax advisor.

 

What are the American Opportunity and lifetime learning credits?
The American Opportunity Credit modified the Hope Credit by making it available to a broader range of taxpayers. 85Eligible taxpayers may qualify for a maximum annual credit of $2,500 per student.

The lifetime learning credit can help pay for undergraduate, graduate and professional degree courses, including courses to improve job skills – regardless of the number of years in the program. Eligible taxpayers may qualify for up to $2,000 per tax return.

See IRS Publication 970: Tax Benefits for Higher Ed 2019 Version for more information.

 

What is a 1098-T?
The 1098-T (Tuition Payments Statement) must be filed by eligible educational institutions that received qualified tuition and related expenses or made reimbursements or refunds of such tuition and expenses in the prior year. The 1098-T statement must be filed for each student who paid tuition or received a reimbursement or refund. It includes enrollment fees paid by the student to either Irvine Valley College or Saddleback College.

 

The 1098-T statement is sent to students who:

  • Enrolled in at least one credit course and paid fees between January 1 and December 31. 
  • Box 1- Shows the total payments received during the year from any source for qualified tuition and related expenses, less any reimbursements or refunds made during the year that relate to those payments received.
  • Box 4- Shows any adjustment made for the prior year for qualified tuition and related expenses that were reported on a prior year Form 1098-T. This amount may reduce any allowable education credit that you claimed for the prior year (may result in an increase in tax liability for the year of the refund). See "recapture" in the index to Pub. 970 to report a reduction in your education credit or tuition and fees deduction.
  • Box 5- Shows the total of all scholarships or grants administered and processed by the eligible education institution. The amount of scholarships or grants for the calendar year (including those not reported by the institution) may reduce the amount of the educational credit you claim for the year.

This 1098-T statement should be retained with your tax documents.

 

What is Form 8863?
Form 8863 is the IRS form to file with the taxpayer's 1040 in order to apply for the American Opportunity Credit or Lifetime Learning Credit.

 

What are the college's responsibilities?
The college must make a good faith effort to fully comply with TRA97. This includes:

  • Collect appropriate student data.
  • Provide 1098-T Statement and instructions to eligible students by the January 31 deadline.
  • File student data with the IRS by the March 31 deadline. 
  • Provide reprints and corrections as requested.

What do the financial amounts mean?
Financial data includes enrollment fees, material fees, scholarships, grants and any other fees associated with your classes.  The data on your 1098T statement does not include your student health fee or textbooks.

 

MySite has your detailed student information by semester. To access MySite, login from your college web page; click on My Information, then select the 1098-T Information link.

 

Taxpayers should refer to their receipts and individual records for specific transaction detail.