The Internal Revenue Service-IRS recognizes certain expenses incurred in pursuit of higher education that may provide you or your parents the opportunity to reduce your tax obligations. Called “qualified expenses”the information is shared directly with the IRS via a document called the 1098-T. The information provided here will enhance your understanding of the reporting process and answer many of the questions you might have.
General questions about the 1098-T
What is a 1098-T form?
This is a document that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires colleges and universities to issue for the purpose of assisting federal tax payers in determining their eligibility for allowable credits against potential tax liabilities.
How do I get a copy of a 1098-T?
Each year students are given the opportunity to elect to receive their 1098-T forms electronically. If that option is chosen the form is not mailed. Alternatively, a paper representation is mailed to the home address listed in Webster (student provided demographic information).
How do I get a copy of a 1098-T from a prior year?
Previous years copies may be accessed electronically.
When are 1098-T documents available?
IRS regulations require colleges and universities to deliver the 1098-T by January 31st of each year.
What if I didn’t receive a 1098-T?
If you chose to have the 1098-T mailed, per the IRS guidelines, the form is mailed to the home address. This address is obtained from the information the student has entered into Webster. All students may access their form electronically.
Colleges and universities are not required to provide a 1098-T to the following students unless the student requests a copy: students who take course for which no academic credit is offered; students who are nonresident aliens (not US citizens or permanent residents); or students whose qualified tuition and related expenses are waived or paid entirely with scholarships.
Does the IRS receive a copy of the 1098-T?
Bradley fully complies with Section 6050S of the Internal Revenue Code, as enacted by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, requiring colleges and universities to file information returns (data in boxes 1-10) electronically with the IRS.
What am I supposed to do with the 1098-T?
Keep it for your records as you do with your other tax documents. Since the University sends your 1098-T information to the IRS, there is no need to attach a copy to your tax return that is being filed with the IRS. The information on the 1098-T will help you determine if you may claim education tax credits.
How do I know if I’m able to claim education tax credits?
Information on Education Credits is available in the IRS Publication Form 8863. You may also contact your tax preparer for this information.
Who or what is Heartland ECSI?
Heartland ECSI is a servicer that colleges and universities use to assist in various functions and reporting requirements. By using a servicer, it simplifies the process and provides better customer service for students and families.
Specific questions about the 1098-T Document
The Social Security Number (SSN) on my form is missing or incorrect. How do I change that?
The student’s information that is presented on the 1098-T form is the information that the student has provided to the University. If the SSN is missing, it has not been provided by the student, then Heartland ECSI assigns a random identification number. To update the SSN information, the student must contact the Registrar’s Office. Once that information is completed in the Registrar’s Office, the student must contact the Controller’s Office Student Fees department informing them they have updated their SSN. If it is prior to March 26th, the information will be updated on the 1098-T and transmitted to the IRS.
Please keep in mind that failure to provide a correct SSN could result in a $100 penalty imposed by the IRS.
I don't have a Social Security Number, but have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITTN) instead. What should I do?
You may complete an IRS form W-9S which can be obtained from the IRS. Turn the completed form into the Controller’s Office and your information will be updated on the 1098T file. This must be done prior to March 26th.
What is the amount in Box 5?
Box 5 includes scholarships or grants that were received or applied to the student tuition account during the tax year (January through December) regardless of the term for which the awards are intended. This includes, but is not limited to, Federal Pell Grants, Federal SEOG, other federal scholarships and grants, State of Illinois MAP Grant, other State scholarships and grants, Bradley University scholarships and grants, and scholarships awarded to students from various organizations, associations and agencies.
Why are Box 4 and 6 blank?
Information is only included in these two boxes if there are adjustments from the prior year to be reported. Box 4 would only be completed if there were adjustments to charges from a prior year. Box 6 would only be completed if there were adjustments to scholarships and grants from a prior year.
Why is box 7 blank?
Box 7 is only completed if there are charges in Box 1 that relate to the first three months of the next calendar year (January through March).
Why is Box 8 checked?
Box 8 is checked if the student is “enrolled at least half-time” for any one term during the tax year. Half time for undergraduate students is 6 hours and for graduate students, it is 4 hours.
Why is Box 9 checked?
If Box 9 is checked, that indicates you were enrolled in a graduate program for one or more terms during the tax year. The University checks this box if you attended as a graduate student for any term during the tax year (January through December).
How do I find out specific details of my charges and payments?
Under the 1098-T Tuition Statement is a detail of the student’s charges, financial assistance and payments for the tax year. The items that appear in Box 1 and Box 5 are labeled and all other transactions are listed on the document. Payments are shown as “CREC Student Fee/Billing”. The transaction history is not provided to the IRS.
What if I studied off campus at another University during the year?
Students studying off-campus for a semester or academic year, either domestically or abroad, may have charges and payments not appearing on the Bradley-provided 1098-T. In those situations, Bradley University has been a pass through for the collection and payment of fees. A student should refer to the billing statement received from that term for purposes of calculating qualified expenses. Refer to IRS Publication Form 8863 or your tax preparer for more information. You may contact the Controller’s Office Student Fees department for a copy of the billing statement.
Why doesn't my 1098-T match what I paid/received?
This is the most common misunderstanding each year. For 1098-T purposes, Bradley University reports payments received for qualified tuition and related fee transactions for the calendar year. Not 100% of what is billed to a student is considered a tax eligible amount.
1098-T Information for International Students
Do I need a Form 1098T?
For most international students, the answer is no. However, that depends on whether you are a US citizen or a nonresident alien for US tax purposes. Bradley University makes the form available to all US citizens as required by law. Nonresident aliens, however, are generally not eligible to claim any of the education-related tax credits or deductions for which the 1098-T form is intended to serve as documentation. If you file your tax return on Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ, you are not eligible to claim those tax benefits.
How do I know whether I am an eligible person for tax purposes?
You are eligible for tax purposes if you are a US citizen, a Permanent Resident (“green card” holder), or a resident alien for tax purposes, by virtue of passing the Substantial Presence test for the year. Otherwise, you are a nonresident alien for tax purposes. More information is available in the IRS Publication 519 (US Tax Guide for Aliens). Most F-1 and J-1 students are nonresident aliens for tax purposes and will not need the 1098-T form.
Can I still receive a 1098-T form even if I am a nonresident alien?
Yes you may request a copy of the 1098-T form, but be advised that the receipt of this form does not indicate that for tax purposes you are eligible for any education-related benefits.