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 (any prior year) billed qualified tuition and related expenses 
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 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 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 isn’t there an amount in box 1?

Institutions may report by either payments received for qualified tuition and related expenses (box 1) or amounts billed for qualified tuition and related expenses (box 2). Since the inception of this form in 2002, SUNY institutions have reported amounts billed (box 2).

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

Total of amounts billed during the calendar year for qualified tuition and related expenses less any reductions in charges made during the calendar year.

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

Not reportable as qualified tuition and related expenses following the IRS guidelines are the orientation fee, health and wellness fee, residency fee, individual evaluation fee, iPLA fee, degree program amendment fee, time payment plan fee, late registration fee, late payment fee, returned check fee and transcript fee.

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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 file or 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?

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 impacts 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:

  • Download IRS form W-9S
  • Complete Part I with your exact name as it appears on your social security card  and enter your mailing address
  • Enter your TIN/SSN
  • Complete Part III with SUNY ESC as the Requestor and your student ID# as the Tuition Account number
  • Part II has another IRS purpose and does not need to be completed to file your TIN

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. Do not email the completed form. Email is not a secure method to transmit personal information. Completed W-9S forms should be submitted no later than December 31st. 

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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. Students may consent to receive an electronic 1098-T form by calling ECSI student services at 866-428-1098.

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

Students may obtain copies of their 1098-T forms 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 need assistance obtaining 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 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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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, ext. 2285.

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Questions?

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

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