1098- T Tax Forms FAQ

  1. What does the 1098-T look like?
  2. What is reported in each box?
  3. Why aren’t all my payments included in box 1?
  4. What is reported in box 2?
  5. I 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. When will I receive my 1098-T form?
  9. Why didn’t I receive a 1098-T form?
  10. Where are the 1098-T forms mailed from?
  11. How may I access a duplicate copy of my 1098-T?
  12. Am I eligible for a tax credit?
  13. Can my spouse or parent speak to someone in the student accounts office regarding my 1098-T?
  14. Whom do I contact if I still have a question about my 1098-T?

1. What does the 1098-T look like?

Here is a sample of the 1098-T form. Sample 2018 1098-T Form (PDF 443kB)

2. What is reported in each box?

Box 1: Payments received for qualified tuition and related expenses
Box 2: Amounts no longer reported in this box
Box 3: If this box is checked, your educational institution changed its reporting method for 2018
Box 4: Adjustments made to a prior year’s (any prior year) payments
Box 5: Scholarship, grants or sponsorship
Box 6: Adjustments made to a prior year’s (any prior year) scholarship, grants or sponsorship
Box 7: Will be checked if the amount in box 1 includes payments for an academic period beginning January – March of the following tax year, if your institution is billing spring registrations at the end of the previous calendar year
Box 8: Will be checked if you are attending at least one-half the normal full-time workload at ESC
Box 9: Will be checked if you are enrolled in a program leading to a graduate degree or graduate certificate
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 aren’t all my payments included in box 1?

Examples of payments for qualified tuition and related expenses are tuition, portfolio fee, student activity fee, college fee, technology fee, graduate MBA program fee, and graduate material fee.

Payments for qualified tuition and related expenses that were billed prior to 2018 are not reported in box 1.

SUNY ESC has qualified tuition and related expenses for the spring 2019 term billed effective in the 2019 tax year.

Payments for other charges such as the orientation fee, health and wellness fee, residency fee, individual evaluation fee, iPLA fee, time payment plan fee, late registration fee, late payment fee, returned check fee and transcript fee. These are not reportable as qualified tuition and related expenses following the IRS guidelines.

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4. What is reported in box 2?

Reporting amounts in box 2 has been discontinued effective with the 2018 tax year.

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

Adjustments made for a prior year, box 4 will not be populated in 2018 as ESC is transitioning from reporting billed amounts in box 2 to paid amounts in box 1.
Adjustments to scholarships, grants or sponsorship reported in a prior year will be reported in box 6.
Adjustment amounts reported in boxes 4 or 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?

Educational institutions are mandated by the Internal Revenue Service to send a 1098-T tuition statement to each enrolled student who has made a reportable transaction based on the IRS criteria.

Institutions are not required to file or furnish a 1098-T for:

•    a student whose qualified tuition and related expenses are entirely waived or entirely paid with grants, scholarships and sponsorship
•    a student whose qualified tuition and related expenses are covered by a formal billing arrangement between SUNY and the student’s employer or government entity such as the Department of Veteran’s Affairs or the Department of Defense
•    a student enrolled in courses for which no academic credit is offered, even if the student is otherwise enrolled in a degree program
•    a student who is a nonresident alien, unless requested by the student

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7. Why does ESC need my social security number?

Educational institutions must file 1098-T Tuition Statements with the IRS. The IRS uses the data reported on the form to verify educational tax credits claimed by tax filers on their income tax returns. If a 1098-T does not have a TIN/SSN (taxpayer identification number or social security number) for the student, it affects the IRS’s process of validating educational expenses. In recent years, IRS auditors have focused on educational tax credits as an area of fraudulent activity.

Empire State College is mandated by the IRS to contact students who do not have a TIN/SSN on their college record. Student Accounts typically performs that outreach October through January. To file your TIN/SSN with the college:

•    Complete the ESC W-9S form SUNY ESC W-9S (PDF 242kB)
•    Enter your name, mailing address, and TIN/SSN in Part I, sign in Part II and return completed form to the Office of the Registrar as noted on the form.
•    Complete Part III if you are unwilling or unable to provide a taxpayer identification number. Check either the first or second box and sign the statement. Return to the Office of the Registrar as noted on the form.

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8. 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. If ESC does not have your current mailing address, then the U.S. Postal Service may have difficulty delivering the document to you. 

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

Was your 1098-T sent to an old or incorrect address? Check your account information online to verify we have your current mailing 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, scholarships or sponsorship, or if their qualified tuition and related expenses are paid via an agreement between their sponsor and the college.

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10. 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. Students may consent to receive an electronic 1098-T form by enrolling at www.Heartland.ecsi.net.

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11. How may I access a duplicate copy of my 1098-T?

Students may obtain copies of their 1098-T forms online from our vendor, Heartland ECSI. You may access 1098-T forms from prior years as well.

You also may contact Heartland ECSI by phone at 866-428-1098 or by online chat at www.Heartland.ecsi.net

If you need assistance obtaining a copy of an older 1098-T, please enter a request at studentaccounts@esc.edu, 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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12. Am I eligible for a tax credit?

To learn if you qualify for an educational tax credit, and for help in calculating the amount of your credit see IRS Publication 970, Form 8863 and Form 1040 or 1040A instructions. Not all students who receive a 1098-T are eligible to claim a deduction or credit.

While staff of Empire State College and ESCI may be able to answer certain questions about the 1098-T Tuition Statement, they cannot explain the requirements for educational tax credits.  Please consult your tax professional. 

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13. 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 from the Student Home portal page, Forms and Publications directory. You may send and attach the completed form by email to studentaccounts@esc.edu or fax to 518-580-4790.

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14. 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, ext. 2285. Please note that SUNY ESC staff are unable to provide you with individual tax advice. Consult with an informed tax preparer or the IRS if you have questions about your tax filing.

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Questions?

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

Questions?

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