Office of the Bursar graduation cap
The Billing and Payment Gateway of UMass Amherst

FAQ

  1. 1098-T Tuition Statements are available online in SPIRE usually in early January. For example, 1098-T statements for 2013 were available in SPIRE as early as January 7.You may view your 1098-T form online through your SPIRE access. Once in SPIRE, select Consent for 1098T. If you have already consented to online distribution, simply click on the View 1098T option. You may view and/or print your statement from this menu option.

  2. If you do not consent to receiving your statement online, a tax form will be mailed to you. All 1098-T forms issued from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst will be postmarked no later than January 31.

  3. By federal law, all forms must be postmarked by January 31.

  4. 1098-T forms issued from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst will be mailed to the “Permanent Address” of record, as listed in SPIRE.

  5. Students can access their 1098-T tax forms online through SPIRE. Once logged in, under the Finances menu, select View 1098T and select the appropriate year.

  6. The fastest way to obtain your 1098-T information is to visit SPIRE and print a copy that you can send/fax to your accountant.

  7. Online in Spire. Login and go to Finances and then View 1098-T and select the year that you need.

  8. You may obtain information from your accountant, tax preparer, or Internal Revenue Service ( www.irs.gov ) about the Hope Credit and Lifetime Learning Credit for Higher education expenses.

  9. There are several possibilities:

    • You attended University of Massachusetts-Amherst in Spring 2013, but you had enrolled and been billed in the calendar year 2012, meaning the information was included in last year's 1098-T.
    • The IRS does not require University of Massachusetts-Amherst to issue a 1098-T form if your scholarship and financial aid total exceeded the billed amount for tuition and qualified expenses.
    • You do not have a valid permanent address on file for you at the University. To update your address, select the Personal Portfolio menu once logged in to SPIRE.
    • You do not have a valid SSN or TIN on file with the University.
    • You are classified as a non-resident alien.
  10. The University of Massachusetts-Amherst reports tuition and qualified expenses on the 1098-T form. Through your SPIRE access, you are able to view all payments made to your account. Under the Finances section of SPIRE, select Payments from the drop down box. You may also need to reference cancelled checks, bank statements, or credit card statements to find these records.

  11. In 1997, the Taxpayer Relief Act established two education tax credits and a deduction for student loan interest. These credits are explained in detail in Publication 970 from the IRS.

    The 1098-T form is a Tuition Payment Statement that includes information that colleges and universities are required to issue for the purpose of determining a student's eligibility for education tax credits. The 1098-T form issued by the University of Massachusetts-Amherst reports the amount billed to you by the University of Massachusetts-Amherst over the course of the previous calendar year, from 1/1/13 to 12/31/13. This form is intended to assist you or your parents in preparation of your federal income tax return.

    Note: Just because you receive a 1098-T does not automatically mean you qualify for a credit. If you have questions about how to compute your education tax credit, you should consult your tax professional or refer to the IRS. Your accountant, tax preparer, or the Internal Revenue Service ( www.irs.gov ) can best advise you in the utilization of this form when preparing your taxes.

  12. 1098T sample form

    Box 1 : Payments received for qualified tuition and related expenses. This box will be left blank on all University of Massachusetts-Amherst 1098-T forms. Universities may choose whether to report payments received or amounts billed; they are not required to report both amounts. University of Massachusetts-Amherst has chosen to report qualified tuition and related expense amounts billed. Box 1 will therefore be left blank on all University of Massachusetts-Amherst 1098-T forms.

    Box 2 : Amounts billed for qualified tuition and related expenses. The amount listed in this box will contain the sum of all tuition and mandatory fees billed to a student's account during a calendar year, less any amounts by which tuition was reduced due to a reduction in course load or withdrawal. Decreases in amounts due on a student's account due to scholarship payments, student payments or other payments are not included in the Box 2 amount. The amount included in Box 2 includes charges billed during the calendar (tax) year regardless of term or when charges were paid. Amounts billed to a student for housing, meal plans, health insurance, or other non-required fees will not be included in the Box 2 amount. For more information on what is considered an eligible or qualified expense, please speak with a tax preparer or visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov.

    Box 3 : Box 3 shows whether the institution has changed its method of reporting for 2012. This box will be left blank, since the University of Massachusetts-Amherst has not changed its current method of reporting from the previous year.    

    Box 4 : Adjustments made for a prior year. The amount in this box is the sum of all reductions in tuition (refunded or not) and qualified expenses billed, and therefore reported, in a prior year. This amount is reported as a positive number per IRS requirements. However, it is actually a decrease to the amount that was reported on a prior year 1098-T.

    Box 5 : Scholarships and Grants This box contains the sum of all scholarships that the University of Massachusetts-Amherst has administered and processed for the student's account during the calendar year. Scholarships that pay for tuition (qualified scholarships) as well as for housing, books, and other expenses (non-qualified scholarships) will be included in this amount. Financial Aid tuition waivers and grants that are applied to student accounts for educational expenses are included in this box.

    Box 6 : Adjustments to scholarships or grants for a prior year Decreases of scholarship, financial aid or grant amounts related to scholarships reported in a prior year are included in this box. This amount is reported as a positive number per IRS requirements. However, it is actually a decrease to the amount that was reported on a prior year 1098-T.  

    Box 7 : This box will be checked if the amount reported in Box 2 includes tuition or qualified amounts billed to a student account in the current year that pay for a semester beginning in the next calendar year. For example, tuition billed in December 2013 for Spring 2014 will be reported on your 2013 1098-T. Box 7 will be checked to indicate that this is the case.

    Box 8 : A check in this box indicates that you are or have been enrolled at University of Massachusetts-Amherst at least half-time for at least one semester during the calendar year. If you are at least a half-time student for at least one academic period that begins during the year, you meet one of the requirements for the Hope credit. You do not have to meet the workload requirement to qualify for the Lifetime Learning Credit.

    Box 9 : This box will be checked if you are a student enrolled in a program leading to a graduate-level degree. If you are enrolled in a graduate program, you are not eligible for the Hope Credit, but you may qualify for the Lifetime Learning Credit.

    Box 10 : It shows the total amounts of reimbursements or refunds or qualified tuition and related expenses made by an insurer. This box is not used by University of Massachusetts-Amherst so it will be blank.

  13. If you have questions about how to compute your education tax credit, you should consult your tax professional or refer to the IRS. The University of Massachusetts-Amherst is not able to provide tax advice, but the following are links to further information on 1098-T forms and tax credits:

    • IRS Form 8863, Education Credits (Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits)
    • IRS Hotline: 800-829-1040