I've received a 1098t form from my university that I'm side-eyeing a little bit, since it says I earned more money from scholarships than my tuition cost, and I know that this is not actually the case, since I pay for tuition each year. I think that this may be explained by the fact that the tuition on this form does not include things like room & board (though please correct me if I'm wrong).

When I include this information on certain free tax software, I'm told that I actually owe a non-insignificant amount of money, whereas if I enter information only from my W2s I am owed a sum of money.

Thing is, I don't actually qualify from any benefit of a 1098t in the first place since I am a dependent, so here comes my actual question:

If I am not able to receive benefits from a 1098t since I am a dependent and doing so would cost me, do I have to include it?

In case anyone is worried, I will very likely be filing my taxes with an actual accountant to be certain that nothing I end up doing is legally questionable, especially since this is my first time filing taxes on my own (parents have handled it in the past).


Not sure I understood, so I'll summarize what I think I read:

You got scholarship X, paid tuition Y < X, and you got 1098T to report these numbers. You're asking whether you need to pay taxes on (X-Y) that you end up with as income.

The answer is: of course. You can have even lower tax liability if you don't include the numbers on W2, right? So why doesn't it occur to you to ask "if I don't include W2 in the software, it comes up with a smaller tax - do I need to include it?"?

  • I wrote this post late at night so I apologize if it's hard to understand - I did pay less than the amount of scholarships I received, but my 1098t reported that I did not pay and that total tuition was less than scholarships received. For example, it said I paid 0, tuition was 3k, scholarships were 5k. – jackwise Mar 30 '16 at 14:18
  • @jackwise and did you pay the tuition in the same year you received the scholarship? If the 1098t is wrong, you need to go to the bursar office and have it corrected. Ignoring it won't help, since the IRS is going to believe what it says. – littleadv Mar 30 '16 at 14:21
  • Yes, I did. Guess it's time to call my uni. – jackwise Mar 30 '16 at 14:22
  • Although after doing some research I've found that unis either report amount billed or amount paid, so it's not necessarily unusual that my amount paid is 0. I think I just really need to speak to an accountant. – jackwise Mar 30 '16 at 14:29

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