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American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning Tax Credits

The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 (TRA) provides education tax incentives in the form of the American Opportunity Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit. These benefits allow taxpayers to reduce their federal income tax based upon qualified tuition and fees paid, assuming the taxpayer meets TRA requirements.

The American Opportunity Credit is for students who are enrolled at least half-time in one of the first two years of post-secondary education and are pursuing an undergraduate degree, certificate, or other recognized credential. The Lifetime Learning Credit is available to qualifying individuals who may not otherwise qualify for the American Opportunity Credit.

For more information about these education tax incentives, call the Internal Revenue Service at 1-800-TAX-1040 or visit the IRS Web site at

Specific Instructions for Form 1098-T

File Form 1098-T, Tuition Statement, if you are an eligible educational institution. You must file for each student you enroll and for whom a reportable transaction is made. Also, if you are an insurer, file Form 1098-T for each individual to whom you made reimbursements or refunds of qualified tuition and related expenses.

Exceptions. You do not have to file Form 1098-T or furnish a statement for:
  • Courses for which no academic credit is offered, even if the student is otherwise enrolled in a degree program;
  • Nonresident alien students, unless requested by the student;
  • Students whose qualified tuition and related expenses are entirely waived or paid entirely with scholarships; and
  • Students for whom you do not maintain a separate financial account and whose qualified tuition and related expenses are covered by a formal billing arrangement between an institution and the student's employer or a governmental entity, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Department of Defense.

View more information

For purposes of filing tax returns, 1098-T forms indicating amount of tuition paid and financial aid received during the tax year are made available to taxpayers online by January 31 of each year.

The District changed 1098-T forms service providers for the 2011 forms.  To view your 1098-T form online, you will be required to have a personal identification number (“PIN”).  There are two ways to obtain your PIN:

  • The PIN and website information is included on your 1098-T form that you will receive in the mail
  • Contact ECSI customer service after January 31 toll free at (866) 428-1098

When you contact ECSI, you will be asked for your social security number and DCCCD’s school code. DCCCD’s school code for obtaining your 1098-T form from ECSI is UG.

More information can be found on ECSI’s website