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Using Your Education Award

Here are some resources to help you with your Education Award:

Having problems with your Award? Try using the help desk through the MyAmeriCorps portal or call the National Service Trust at 1-800-942-2677. The Trust is staffed by live operators from 8:00-6:00 EST.  The intro is long, so you can press 2 for "My AmeriCorps" questions, or 3 for Segal Education Award questions. 

Education Award and Taxes

Both interest payments and payments from educational award accounts have been determined to be taxable income.  They are included as income in the tax year the payment is mailed to the school or loan company. The Trust will report to the IRS the total of all payments that were made on a member’s behalf.  An IRS form 1099 (Misc Income) will be mailed to the member in January following each year in which at least $600 worth of payments were made on the member’s behalf.  This form will let the member know the total amount of his/her payments from the previous year. 

If you're concerned about tax implications of using your education award, the best resource is to speak with the IRS or ayour tax professional. Your tax burden may be mitigated somewhat by federal income tax laws regarding educational credits and deductions for student loan interest payment.  IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education, explains these credits and deductions in detail. The following helpful tips and links were provided by Richard Melo from the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory:

  • The National Service Knowledge Network (part of CNCS) has some information on taxes as it relates to the Ed Award.
  • If you are also going to school, you should look into tax credits that are available. You may need to use a specific or special tax form in order to take advantage of these.
  • If you are concerned about taxes, you might try using your award over the course of multiple tax years (for example, half in 2018 and half in 2019). This can help prevent you from bumping into a higher tax bracket.
  • If you are going to school you should make sure you are taking full advantage of your financial aid opportunities before using your Ed Award.
  • If a mistake is made (for example, there have been cases in which members have reported their Ed Award as income in a year BEFORE they actually used it and paid taxes twice), you can amend your tax return and get a refund. This has to happen within three years of overpaying the taxes.