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tax act of 1997

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1098-T forms (Tuition Payments Statement) are mailed to SRJC students in January for the previous tax year. It is up to students to determine for themselves, or with the advice of their tax advisors, what amounts should be used for the Hope Scholarship Credit, Lifetime Learning Credit or the American Opportunity Tax Credit. You will need to file Form 8863 (Education Credits) to claim the education tax credits.

Student Form 1098-T Information via Student Portal.
Note: After logging onto your student portal, select the Function "Tax Credit" then click the "Submit" button.

1098-T Informational Web Site

TAXPAYER RELIEF ACT OF 1997 (Education Tax Credit)

In accordance with the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, beginning in 1998, individuals may be able to claim the new tax credit for higher education costs. These are the Hope Scholarship Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit.

Hope Scholarship Tax Credit
Applies to students who are enrolled at least half time in their first or second year of undergraduate study in a program leading to a degree. A maximum of $2,500 per year of qualifying tuition and related expenses may be claimed as a credit against taxes owed by taxpayers who meet defined income restrictions. Hope Scholarship Tax Credit can be claimed for an eligible student or dependent student who meets the following requirements:

  1. Is enrolled in one of the first four years of post secondary education (generally the freshman or sophomore years of college).*
  2. Is enrolled in a program that leads to a degree, certificate, or other recognized educational credential.
  3. Is taking at least one-half of the normal full-time work load (6 units or more) for his or her course of study for at least one academic period (Spring, Summer, Fall) during the calendar year, and
  4. Is free of any felony conviction for possessing or distributing a controlled substance.

Lifetime Learning Tax Credit
Taxpayers may be able to claim a Lifetime Learning Tax Credit of up to $2,000 for the total qualified tuition and related expenses paid during the tax year for all eligible students or dependent students who are enrolled in eligible educational institutions.

  1. The Lifetime Learning Tax Credit is not based on the students work load. It is allowed for one or more courses.
  2. The Lifetime Learning Tax Credit is not limited to students in the first two years of post secondary education.
  3. There is no limit on the number of years for which the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit can be claimed for each eligible student.
  4. The amount you can claim as a The Lifetime Learning Tax Credit does not vary (increase) based on the number of eligible students for who you pay qualified expenses.

American Opportunity Tax Credit

The American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) amends the Hope Scholarship Tax credit for the 2009 and 2010 tax years. Changes include: an increase in the maximum tax credit from $1800 to $2500. The tax credit now can be received for tuition and related expenses. The tax credit can be used for the first four years of college instead of the first two years of college. For more information on the AOTC and the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act visit:

The credit amount starts phasing out for individuals making more than $80,000 and for married couples making more than $160,000. Students who don’t earn enough to file a tax return should consider filing anyway because they may get up to $1000.00 back.

For a more detailed Q & A on Tax Credits, visit:

California Community Colleges logo
The California Community Colleges encourage students and parents to learn more about this important tax credit.
Please visit:

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program also offers free tax help to people with a gross annual income at or below $49,000 who need assistance preparing their tax returns. To take advantage of this tax credit you can contact the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program @ 1-800-829-1040.

Additional Information

Internal Revenue Services
To obtain/view copies of Internal Revenue Service publications, including Publication 970 Tax Benefits for Higher Education

IRS Telephone Assistance: (800) 829-1040

IRS Local Taxpayer Assistance Center: (707) 523-0924

SRJC Taxpayer Relief Act Hotline: (707) 527-4975

Santa Rosa Junior College is officially accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges