How to “Love your Wallet” This Tax Season

By Eli Soria|February 19, 2019News, Top Stories|

By Eli Soria of The Student Accounts Office – Financial Success Program

With the beginning of the 2019 New Year, qualified students will receive the 1098-T form, which is used by educational institutions to report amounts paid toward qualified tuition and related expenses. The form’s purpose is to alert students that they may be eligible for federal income tax credits; claiming education tax benefits is a voluntary decision for those who may qualify.

Tax credits are more beneficial than deductions since they reduce the amount a taxpayer pays. For example, $1,000 in tax credits equals $1,000 less that you pay in taxes. There are two types of credits – Refundable and Non-Refundable. A Refundable credit is just as the name states – a taxpayer will receive a refund. Non-refundable credits, on the other hand, will lower the tax bill but not below $0.

Qualified expenses under the tax credit include tuition, student activity fees paid directly to the school, books, supplies, and equipment needed for a course of study. The most important thing to note is that these payments must be paid to an eligible institution – like PCC. A helpful reference is IRS Publication 970 which provides information on tax benefits available to students and families saving or paying for college such as the American opportunity tax credit; a credit for qualified education expenses paid for an eligible student for the first four years of higher education. If the credit brings the amount of tax you owe to zero, you can have 40 percent of any remaining amount of the credit (up to $1,000) refunded to you”. For more information, you can visit

With this in mind, on Wednesday, February 27th, PCC Financial Success Coaches will be holding the “Love Your Wallet Event” at the Cascade Campus Student Union Rooms 202 & 203 from 11 am to 3 pm. During this event, students will be able to have fun and learn about applying for scholarships, student tax benefits, exploring ways to pay for college, financial goal setting for college, identifying financial resources and information, understanding student loans, filing the FAFSA/ORSAA early, SNAP application and benefits, and saving with BankMobile.

A representative from CASH Oregon will also be in attendance to answer questions for students when it comes to filing for tax credits.  CASH Oregon is a non-profit organization that offers free tax preparation services for students. Don’t miss this great opportunity to have a trained volunteer share with you how to maximize your tax refunds as a student. We are Looking forward to seeing you on February 27th!

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