What is the 1098-T form?

The 1098-T tuition statement form is a federal tax form that eligible students can use to claim federal tax credit under the American Opportunity Credit or the Lifetime Learning Credit.


Who gets the 1098-T form?

Every year, we send the 1098-T form to any student who paid tuition fees in the previous tax year. We also send a copy to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). A single student’s qualified educational expenses cannot be claimed under both programs in the same tax year.

When will I receive my form?

If you choose to receive your 1098-T online, then it will be available in eServices by January 31. We will not mail you a paper copy if you choose the online option. If you choose to receive your 1098-T by mail, then we will mail your paper copy by January 31.

You will not receive a 1098-T if either of the following apply to you:

  • You did not pay qualified educational expenses in the previous tax year
  • You are a international student who does not have a social security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN)

American Opportunity Credit

The American Opportunity Credit may be claimed for qualified educational expenses for a student who:

  • Is enrolled at least half-time (six units during fall or spring)
  • Has attended college for four years or less
  • Is in a program leading to a degree, certificate, or other recognized educational credential

The amount that may be claimed is generally equal to the following:

  • 100% of the first $2,000 of qualified educational expenses paid for a single student
  • 25% of the next $2,000 of qualified educational expenses paid for a single student

Thus, the maximum credit a taxpayer may claim per student is $2,500 per year. A family with multiple eligible students may claim this amount for each student.

Changes to American Opportunity Credit for 2017

Starting with the 2017 tax year, the amount a taxpayer may claim under the American Opportunity Credit is gradually reduced if your modified adjusted gross income is between $80,000 and $90,000 ($160,000 and $180,000 if you file a joint return).

If your modified adjusted gross income is $90,000 or more ($180,000 or more for joint filers), then you cannot claim the American Opportunity Credit at all.


Lifetime Learning Credit

The Lifetime Learning Credit may be claimed for qualified educational expenses for any student who is enrolled in an eligible educational institution.

The amount that may be claimed is equal to 20% of the first $10,000 of qualified educational expenses for all students in a family. Thus, the maximum credit a taxpayer may claim for a taxable year is $2,000.

Changes to Lifetime Learning Credit for 2017

Starting with the 2017 tax year, the amount a taxpayer may claim under the Lifetime Learning Credit is gradually reduced if your modified adjusted gross income is between $56,000 and $66,000 ($112,000 and $132,000 if you file a joint return).

If your modified adjusted gross income is $66,000 or more ($132,000 or more for a joint return), then you cannot claim a Lifetime Learning Credit.


Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

The following information is not professional tax advice. Contact a tax preparer or the IRS if you need assistance.

How do I access my 1098-T form online?

Make sure your pop-up blockers are disabled. From your eServices dashboard, click Student Center. In the Finances section, find the other financial drop-down and select View 1098-T. Click the year of the form you want to view.

Why are you asking for my social security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN)?

The IRS can impose a $100 penalty against us for each missing or incorrect SSN or ITIN. If your SSN is missing or looks inaccurate, then we will ask you to submit Form W-9S Request for Taxpayer Identification Number to Admissions and Records. The IRS may impose a $50 penalty against you if you do not provide your SSN or ITIN.

Is the 1098-T form a source of income I must include in my taxes?

No, this form is a statement of the amount qualified educational expenses we have recorded for you in the previous tax year.

How is the amount on my 1098-T form determined?

The amount is determined by how much you paid for qualified educational expenses in the previous tax year, minus any refunds or fee waivers you received. It includes all payments received in the reporting year, regardless of what semester the payment applies to.

For example, if you paid qualified educational expenses for the spring 2019 semester in December 2018, then the payment would be included on the 1098-T form for 2018.

What if the amount on my 1098-T form is incorrect?

Contact the Business Services Office if you believe the amount on your 1098-T form is incorrect.

What if I did not get my 1098-T form?

Remember that you will not receive a 1098-T form if fee waivers such as the California College Promise Grant (formerly BOG Fee Waiver) paid for all of your qualified educational expenses.

If you paid for your educational expenses and did not receive the 1098-T form, then contact your college's Business Services Office.

Do I need this form to complete my taxes?

No, this form does not need to be submitted to the IRS when you send in your tax forms.

How do I use qualified educational expense information when preparing my tax return?

Instructions for calculating the credit can be found on IRS Form 8863. You may want to consult the IRS to determine the amount of credit that you may be eligible to claim.

Is the amount reported for qualified educational expenses the total amount of tax credit I can claim on my tax return?

Not necessarily. The amount of the tax credit you can claim depends on your individual situation. Consult with the IRS or refer to IRS Form 8863 to determine how the American Opportunity Credit and Lifetime Learning Credit affect you.

Resources

The following external resources provide more information about the 1098-T form.