1098- T Tax Forms FAQ

  1. What does the 1098-T look like?
  2. Which boxes should be filled in and what do they mean?
  3. Why isn’t there an amount in box 1?
  4. What charges are included in the "qualified tuition and related expenses" of box 2?
  5. I only have amounts in box 4 adjustments and/or box 6 adjustments; what does that mean?
  6. What are the criteria set by the Internal Revenue Service for receiving a 1098-T form?
  7. Why does ESC need my social security number?
  8. Why isn’t my Spring 1 (January) registration included in the amounts billed for my 1098-T?
  9. When will I receive my 1098-T form?
  10. Why didn’t I receive a 1098-T form?
  11. Where are the 1098-T forms mailed from?
  12. How can I get a duplicate of my 1098-T?
  13. Am I eligible for a tax credit?
  14. Can my spouse or parent speak to someone in the student accounts office regarding my 1098-T?
  15. Whom do I contact if I still have a question about my 1098-T?

1. What does the 1098-T look like?

A sample of the 1098-T form is shown on the IRS website.

2. Which boxes should be filled in, and what do they mean?

Box 1: not used by SUNY institutions
Box 2: amounts billed for qualified tuition and related expenses
Box 3: not checked, reporting method has not changed
Box 4: adjustments made to a prior year’s (2002 or later) billed qualified tuition and related expenses 
Box 5: scholarships or grants
Box 6: adjustments made to a prior year’s (2002 or later) scholarships or grants
Box 7: will be checked if the amounts in box 2 include billed amounts for an academic period beginning January – March of the following tax year
Box 8: will be checked if you are enrolled at least half-time during any academic period beginning in 2013
Box 9: will be checked if you enrolled in graduate studies for this tax year
Box 10: shows the total amount of reimbursements or refunds of qualified tuition and related expenses made by an insurer.

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3. Why isn’t there an amount in box 1?

When the forms became a requirement in 2002, the State University of New York (SUNY) decided to provide amounts billed on 1098-T forms. This is a SUNY institution policy and is not determined on a case-by-case basis.

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4. What charges are included in box 2, "qualified tuition and related expenses"?

Qualified tuition and related expenses are tuition and fees a student must pay to be enrolled at, or attend an eligible educational institution.

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5. I only have amounts in box 4 adjustments and/or box 6 adjustments; what does that mean?

Adjustment amounts reported in boxes 4 and 6 may change any allowable education credit you may have claimed for a prior year. We strongly advise you to seek the advice of a tax consultant for specific information concerning the handling of prior year adjustments.

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6. What are the criteria set by the Internal Revenue Service for receiving a 1098-T form?

Institutions are not required to furnish a 1098-T when:

  • a student's qualified tuition and related expenses are entirely waived or entirely paid with grants or scholarships
  • a student’s qualified tuition and related expenses are covered by a formal billing arrangement between SUNY and the student’s employer or government entity
  • a student took courses for which no academic credit is offered, even if the student is otherwise enrolled in a degree program
  • a student is a nonresident alien. Forms can be provided upon request.

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7. Why does ESC need my social security number?

Empire State College requires your social security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) to report the 1098-T information to the IRS. If your ESC account does not have a SSN/ITIN, you will receive an email from student accounts with instructions for filing your SSN/ITIN.

Use federal form W-9S (PDF) to file your SSN or ITIN with ESC. Please complete Part I (your exact name as it appears on your SS card or ITIN card, your current mailing address and your SSN or ITIN) and Part III (ESC is the Requester and your student ID # is the Tuition Account Number).  Fax the form to the Office of the Registrar at 518-580-0105 or mail to Empire State College, Office of the Registrar, 2 Union Ave., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.

The W-9S form should be returned to our Office of the Registrar by Dec. 31 . Students who submit the W-9S after Dec. 31 will experience a delay in receiving their 1098-T. Students who fail to provide an accurate SSN/ITIN may be subject to IRS penalties.

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8. Why isn’t my spring registration included in the amounts billed on my 1098-T?

The 1098-T reflects amounts billed on your account in the calendar year. Many students register for a spring term in November or December of the previous year; if you did so, your spring registration would have been reported on your prior year 1098-T, if you met the criteria to receive one. If a term starts in the following calendar year (e.g. spring term), box 7 is checked.

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9. When will I receive my 1098-T form?

The 1098-T Tuition Statement is mailed by Jan. 31, you may expect to receive your form in early February. Please verify the mailing address on MyESC is accurate. Data reported on the 1098-T is also reported to the Internal Revenue Service.

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10. Why didn’t I receive a 1098-T form?

Was your 1098-T sent to an old or incorrect address? To find out, check your account online to verify we have your correct address.

The college is not required to issue forms for students whose qualified tuition and related expenses are entirely waived or entirely paid with grants or scholarships, or if their qualified tuition and related expenses are paid via an agreement between their sponsor and the college. If the amount of grants and scholarships received, or tuition waived, in a calendar year were equal to or more than the qualified tuition and related expenses billed in the calendar year, you will not receive a 1098-T (see question 6).

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11. Where are the 1098-T forms mailed from?

A service provider sends the SUNY 1098-Ts from a central location rather than from individual campuses.

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12. How can I get a duplicate of my 1098-T?

Students may obtain copies of their 1098-T forms (calendar years 2009 and later) online through our vendor, ECSI. If you have retained your ECSI login information, proceed to ECSI's website. If you need assistance logging in, visit ECSI's Login Credentials Retrieval page and follow the prompts. The college's school code is TB. You may also reach ECSI by phone at 866-428-1098 or by email at cservices@ecsi.net.

If you require a copy of an older 1098-T, please enter a request at www.esc.edu/asksa, specifying the tax year of the copy. Copies will be mailed to the address on file. Upon request, duplicates may be faxed. Please include your fax number with your request.

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13. Am I eligible for a tax credit?

To determine the correct amount, if any, to enter on your tax return, please consult your tax advisor, your personal expense records and your student account statement on MyESC. Employees of Empire State College cannot offer assistance with tax form preparation. Please do not contact the college for that purpose.

The responsibility for your individual tax circumstances rests with the taxpayer alone and Empire State College is not responsible for your interpretation of this information. You are urged to refer to federal Publication 970 from the IRS.

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14. Can my spouse or parent speak to someone in the student accounts office regarding my 1098-T?

Due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), only the student or those persons the student has authorized may contact the student accounts office for information or assistance regarding the 1098-T form. To grant permission to another person, please complete and file the Permission to Release Student Information form available on the MyESC Forms Center at www.esc.edu/forms. Fax the form to student accounts at 518-581-2782.

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15. Whom do I contact if I still have a question about my 1098-T?

Contact our Student Information Center at 518-587-2100 or 800-847-3000.

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