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1098-T Box 5 Question


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I realize that I might ultimately need to go to a tax professional to answer this question, but I thought I would try my friends at SoxTalk first. I am also going to fill out all the paperwork by hand to double check if there is a problem with my tax software (TurboTax).


The institution that I recently got my PhD from is now putting my tuition waiver amount in Box 5 (scholarships or grants) on the 1098-T. I talked to the head of Student Accounts at the school, and she claims that this should have no impact on my taxation except my ability to claim education (tuition) deductions. Logically, I agree with her.


However, using TurboTax, anything in Box 5 seems to be treated as taxable income (it does not show up on the W2) and is dramatically increasing my tax liability (amount owed). Maybe this is just a TurboTax problem, but if I choose to not take an education deduction, I presume that I would not have to enter the 1098-T information at all, thus avoiding the issue altogether.


Is anyone here having a similar problem? Does anyone know if there is an "impact" of Box 5 on the 1098-T beyond ability to claim education expenses?

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QUOTE (SnB @ Feb 21, 2011 -> 04:21 PM)
When I did it, it just lowered my education expenses and therefore lowered the amount of Lifetime Learning Credit I could receive.


I found the problem. My university put my Spring 2010 tuition expenses on my 2009 1098-T but put my Spring 2010 waiver on my 2010 1098-T. As a result, I get a negative number in boxes 2 adn 6 on Form 8917. If you carry a negative number over from Form 8917 to Box 34 of the 1040, it creates a situation where you subtract a negative number and hence "add" that number to your adjusted gross income. I pointed this out to the university and am trying to get them to correctly move my waiver from Box 5 (this year's waiver) to Box 6 (adjustments to last year's waiver). I'm sure this will be fun!

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