1098-T Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Fresno State does not assist in tax preparation, act as a tax consultant for individuals or entities, provide tax advice, and cannot answer your tax questions. Please consult a tax professional or the IRS for questions relating to the 1098-T form and tax preparation.
While the University has made every effort to use the most current and accurate data, tax laws change frequently, and it is possible that some of the information may no longer be accurate. The University disclaims all liability from the mistreatment of the information and materials contained on our website. Information regarding immigration, employment and tax substantial authority is the responsibility of each individual. Therefore, any assistance the below information may provide is given as a courtesy to you, and as such, should not be construed in any way as the rendering of legal or tax advice.
1. What is the Form 1098-T, Tuition Statement?
Form 1098-T, Tuition Statement is a form that colleges and universities are required to issue to students who pay qualified tuition and related expenses in the preceding calendar year. Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses (QTRE) is tuition and fees for the enrollment or attendance of a student for courses of instruction at an eligible institution as a condition of the student’s enrollment or attendance at the institution. QTRE’s do not include the costs of room and board, transportation, insurance, medical expenses, (including student health fees), student activities, and similar personal, living or family expenses, regardless of whether the fee must be paid to the eligible educational institution for the enrollment of the student at the institution, or expenses paid with tax-free educational assistance or used for any other tax deduction, credit or educational benefit.
The information being reported to the IRS verifies your enrollment with regard to certain eligibility criteria for the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) or the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit and the Tuition and Fees Deduction. However, the enrollment information by itself does not establish eligibility for either credit or deduction. A 1098-T form must also be provided to each applicable student, either electronically or in paper form, depending on the student’s preference.
2. Effective Calendar Year 2018 and Beyond
Institutions may no longer report amounts billed in Box 2 for calendar year 2018 and beyond. For calendar year 2018 and beyond, the IRS has determined that all institutions must report amounts paid in Box 1. Since Box 2 will no longer be used, it is grayed out on the 1098-T form. This may make it difficult to compare your 1098-T with prior years.
3. When will my 1098-T be available?
Fresno State is required to make the form available no later than January 31st of the calendar year following the tax year in which the expenses were paid. Generally, it is available prior to that date, but it will be available no later than January 31st.
4. How to read your form 1098-T?
Box 1: Payments Received for Qualified Tuition
Box 1 will report payments made toward QTRE in a calendar year. Health services, room and board, insurance, transportation are not considered qualified education expenses by the IRS, so payments made toward these charges will not be reflected on the 1098-T. All other tuition and related expenses paid on the student’s account are reported in box 1 except for course-related books, supplies and equipment which are only allowed for the AOTC education tax credit.
Box 2: Blank
Box 2 is blank because the IRS has determined that institutions may no longer continue to report amounts billed in box 2 for calendar year 2018 and beyond.
Box 4: Adjustments to Qualified Tuition from a Prior Reporting Period
Adjustments that resulted in a reduction of payments toward qualified tuition and related expenses reported on a prior year Form 1098-T will be reported in box 4. For example, if the University reports $500 in payments in 2019, but a student retroactively drops a course from 2019 in the 2020 year without fee liability, the dropped value will appear in box 4.
Box 5: Scholarships and Grants Received
Box 5 reports the amount of all scholarships and grants disbursed in a calendar year towards the cost of attendance. Scholarships and grants are defined by the IRS, so may include items that you do not recognize as a scholarship or grant – for example, military benefits and payments from third party organizations. The amount reported in box 5 may exceed the amount reported in box 1.
Box 6: Adjustments to Scholarships and Grants Reported in a Prior Year
Similar to box 4, box 6 reports adjustments to previously reported scholarships and grants from a prior year. If a scholarship or grant is retroactively revoked, the value of the scholarship or grant will be reported in box 6.
5. Where can I find the 1098-T form Online?
If eligibility requirements are met, you may obtain your 1098-T form online by following these steps: (Note: You must consent to receive the 1098-T form electronically to view it online on My Fresno State.)
1. Sign in to My Fresno State at https://my.fresnostate.edu
2. Click on Student Self Service/Student Center/My Finances/View 1098-T
3. Click on the Calendar Year to view and print the form
If you have not signed up to receive the 1098-T electronically, a paper form will be mailed to you at the mailing address you have on file with Fresno State at the end of January.
Benefits of receiving the Form 1098-T electronically vs. through regular postal mail:
- Online delivery provides 24/7 access to the Form 1098-T.
- Online delivery eliminates the chance that the Form 1098-T will get lost, misdirected or delayed during delivery, or misplaced once the student receives it.
- Students can receive the Form 1098-T even while traveling or on assignment away from their mailing address.
6. What if my 2020 1098T does not appear?
Try any of the following steps:
- Use a different browser (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox)
- Use a different device
- Disable pop-up blockers
- Clear your browser cache and cookies
7. Where can I find the breakdown of eligible 1098-T tuition and fees that corresponds to the amount provided in Box 1?
Follow the steps outlined above and click on the Box Amount tab, then click on the amounts displayed to view 1098-T eligible tuition and fees.
8. Was this information reported to the Internal Revenue Services (IRS)?
Yes. Section 65050S of the Internal Revenue Code, as enacted by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, requires institutions to file information returns to assist taxpayers and the IRS in determining the amount of qualified tuition and related expenses (qualified expenses) for which an education tax credit is allowable under section 25A (American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning Education tax credits), as well as other tax benefits for higher education expenses.
You are not required to attach the IRS Form 1098-T to your tax return. The primary purpose of the 1098-T is to let you know that Fresno State has provided the required information to the IRS to assist them in determining who may be eligible to claim the tuition and fee deduction or education credits. There is no IRS requirement that you claim a tuition and fees deduction or an education related tax credit.
9. I am not sure what to do with this tuition statement with regard to my income tax filing. Whom should I contact?
The Student Accounts Office is not able to answer tax questions or offer legal advice. Please seek advice from the IRS or a tax professional. Information is also available in the IRS Publication 970 Tax Benefits for Education.
10. What does the 1098-T Tuition Statement look like?
11. Who can claim the American Opportunity or Lifetime Learning Tax Credit or the Tuition and Fees Deduction?
An eligible taxpayer may claim them. An eligible taxpayer may be the student or, if the student is a dependent for federal income tax purposes, the person (e.g., parent) claiming the student as a dependent. A student who is a dependent cannot claim the tax credits or deduction on his or her own tax return.
12. Can my parent(s), other persons who may claim me as a dependent, or my tax preparer receive my Form 1098-T directly?
As required by FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), Fresno State cannot provide this information directly to parents, other persons who may claim the student as a dependent, or tax preparers. If you are claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax returns (such as your parent’s), the student needs to provide the Form 1098-T directly to that person.
13. I paid my qualified tuition and related expenses with student loans. Can I still claim an American Opportunity or Lifetime Learning Tax Credit or the Tuition and Fees Deduction?
Yes. Loan funds should be considered in the same manner as cash payments when calculating an American Opportunity or the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit or the Tuition and Fees Deduction. However, any scholarships, grants or other non-taxable aid must be deducted from the amount of qualified tuition and related expenses paid.
14. Why didn't I receive a 1098-T Tuition Statement?
According to IRS guidelines, Fresno State is not obligated to file the 1098-T Tuition Statement or furnish a statement for:
- Courses for which no academic credit is offered, even if the student is otherwise enrolled in a degree program.
- Nonresident alien students.
- Students whose qualified tuition and related expenses are entirely waived or paid entirely with scholarships.
- Students whose qualified tuition and related expenses are covered by a formal billing arrangement between an institution and the student's employer, third party or a government entity, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Department of Defense.
- There were no payments in the calendar year. For example, many students register and pay prior to December 31st for the spring semester. Those payments are reported in the calendar year in which they were paid, which would be prior to January 1st of the following calendar year.
15. Why is the SSN/TIN field blank on my Form 1098-T?
This is because you did not provide an SSN/TIN to Fresno State. We solicit for the SSN at the time of admission, but it is not a required field on the application as it not a requirement for admission purposes. We then solicit again prior to December 31st each year, requesting the SSN/TIN for eligible students who do not have an SSN/TIN listed in our database. We request that students submit an IRS W-9S form to our office indicating their SSN/TIN, which is then given to the Registrar’s Office to update your record.
If you do not provide the SSN/TIN to us, then we are not able to report it. Please note that the IRS can impose a penalty on an individual who is required (but fails) to furnish his or her SSN/TIN to an institution or insurer.
16. What is the difference between an SSN and TIN ?
A TIN is the taxpayer’s identification number and is issued by the IRS. An SSN is
a TIN as well, but is issued by the Social Security Administration. Not all taxpayers
are eligible for a SSN. One or the other can be used on the 1098-T form for taxpayer