Frequently Asked Questions About IRS Form 1098-T


What is a 1098-T anyway?
How can I get a copy of my 1098-T?
Can I get a copy of last year's 1098-T?
Why didn't I receive a 1098-T from UCI?
Did you send a copy of this form to the IRS?
What am I supposed to do with the 1098-T form?
Why wasn't the 1098-T form mailed from the University?
The Social Security Number (SSN) on my form is missing or incorrect.  What should I do?
I have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) instead of a Social Security Number.  What should I do?
The name on my form is incorrect.  What should I do?
What does an amount in Box 1 mean?
Why are Boxes 2, 3, and 10 blank?
What does an amount in Box 4 mean?
What does an amount in Box 5 mean?
What does an amount in Box 6 mean?
What does the check mark in Box 7 mean?
What does the check mark in Box 8 mean?
What does the check mark in Box 9 mean?

The information provided in this web page is NOT tax advice.  It is offered only as general information for UCI students and their families.  Please consult a qualified tax expert for advice on computing, claiming, or determining qualification for any tax benefit mentioned in this web site.


Question: What is a 1098-T anyway?

Answer: Form 1098-T:  Tuition Payments Statement is the information return that colleges and universities are required to issue for the purpose of determining a student's eligibility for the Hope and Lifetime Learning education tax credits.

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Question: How can I get a copy of my 1098-T?

Answer: It's easy!  Just use the Tax Credit Reporting Service (TCRS) student site at http://www.1098t.com/.

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Question:  Can I get a copy of last year's 1098-T?

Answer:  Yes, provided that a form was issued to you.  Follow the instructions for getting a copy of your 1098-T above, making sure to select the tax year of interest from the  drop-down menu box.  The current tax year appears in the window by default.

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Question:  Why didn't I receive a 1098-T from UCI?

Answer: There are several possibilities:

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Question:  Did you send a copy of this form to the IRS?

Answer:  Yes.  Section 6050S of the Internal Revenue Code, as enacted by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, requires institutions to file information returns to assist taxpayers and the Internal Revenue Service in determining eligibility for the Hope and Lifetime Learning education tax credits.  The annual deadline for UCI to file the required tax information electronically is March 31, although data may be transmitted earlier as circumstances allow.

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Question:  What am I supposed to do with the 1098-T form?

Answer:  Keep it for your records.  Since the University sends your 1098-T information to the IRS, there is no need to attach a copy of the form to your tax return.  The information contained in the 1098-T will help you to determine if you may claim the Hope or the Lifetime Learning education tax credits using IRS Form 8863:  Education Credits [download]. 

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Question:  Why wasn't the 1098-T mailed from the University?

Answer: To simplify reporting, and to promote the best customer service for students and their families, the University contracted with Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) to provide the Tax Credit Reporting Service (TCRS).  In addition to mailing forms, TCRS hosts the 1098t.com web site and provides toll-free customer support at (877) 467-3821.  Note, however, that the filer's information (name, address, telephone number, and federal identification number) on your form all pertain to the University of California Irvine. 

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Question:  The Social Security Number (SSN) on my form is missing or incorrect.  What should I do?

Answer: Reporting to the IRS depends primarily on your SSN, so it is very important for you to have the correct information on file with the University.  Follow these steps to have a corrected 1098-T generated:

  1. Furnish the University with your valid SSN.  You cannot update your SSN using the TCRS web site or customer service telephone number.
  2. Email tra@uci.edu when your corrected SSN is on file, using your UCINetID to send the message whenever possible.  Note that the message must come from you, not family members or tax preparers.  Please state your name, UCI student ID number, and the reason you are requesting a new 1098-T, so that the information may be processed effectively.  For security of your personal information, do not state your SSN in the email.  
  3. Updates may take 3-5 working days to process; please request changes well in advance of any appointments or deadlines.  A 1098-T form will not be issued from TCRS unless authorized by the University.
  4. You may view and print your updated record at http://www.1098t.com/, although an updated form may be mailed to your permanent address when available.
The annual deadline for UCI to file 1098-T tax information electronically with the IRS is March 31, although data may be transmitted earlier as circumstances allow.  Please make sure any updates are completed before mid-March to promote accurate filing.

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Question:  I have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) instead of a Social Security Number.  What should I do?

Answer: Reporting to the IRS depends on correctly identifying you, so it is very important for you to have your ITIN on file with the University.  Follow these steps to have a 1098-T generated:

  1. Furnish the University with your valid ITIN.  You cannot supply this information through the TCRS web site or customer service telephone number.
  2. Email tra@uci.edu when your ITIN is on file, using your UCINetID to send the message whenever possible.  Note that the message must come from you, not family members or tax preparers.  Please state that your name, UCI student ID number, and the reason you are requesting a new 1098-T, so that the information may be processed effectively.  For security of your personal information, do not state your ITIN in the email.  
  3. Corrections may take 3-5 working days to process; please request changes well in advance of any appointments or deadlines.  A 1098-T form will not be issued from TCRS unless authorized by the University.
  4. You may view and print your updated record at http://www.1098t.com/, although a corrected form may be mailed to your permanent address when available.
The annual deadline for UCI to file 1098-T tax information electronically with the IRS is March 31, although data may be transmitted earlier as circumstances allow.  Please make sure any corrections are completed before mid-March to promote accurate filing.

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Question:  The name on my form is incorrect.  What should I do?

Answer: Your name is a key element of your tax information, so be sure to submit changes to the University as soon as possible.  Follow these steps to have a corrected 1098-T issued:

  1. Furnish the University with your valid name.  You cannot correct your name using the TCRS web site or customer service telephone number.
  2. Email tra@uci.edu when your corrected name is on file, using your UCINetID to send the message whenever possible.  Note that the message must come from you, not family members or tax preparers.  Please state that your name, UCI student ID number, and the reason you are requesting a new 1098-T, so that the information may be processed effectively.
  3. Corrections may take 3-5 working days to process; please request changes well in advance of any appointments or deadlines.  A 1098-T form will not be issued from TCRS unless authorized by the University.
  4. You may view and print your updated record at http://www.1098t.com/, although a corrected form may be mailed to your permanent address when available.
The annual deadline for UCI to file 1098-T tax information electronically with the IRS is March 31, although data may be transmitted earlier as circumstances allow.  Please make sure any corrections are completed before mid-March to promote accurate filing.

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Question:  What does an amount in Box 1 mean?

AnswerBox 1 ("Payments received for qualified tuition and related expenses") of your 1098-T displays the net amount of payments received during the tax year (January - December) that were required as a condition of your enrollment and attendance.  To "qualify," payments must relate to an academic period for which fees are due and payable during the tax year, and for which instruction begins no later than March of the following tax year.  The amount is calculated by summing the "qualified" portions of registration and course materials fees, less any refunds or reductions of these fees due to enrollment changes. This net amount is sent to the IRS.

By the IRS' definition, "qualified tuition" does not include insurance and student health fees; see "Expenses That Do Not Qualify" in Chapter 2 (Hope Credit), or "Expenses that Do Not Qualify" in Chapter 3 (Lifetime Learning Credit) of Publication 970: Tax Benefits for Education [download] for more information.  At UCI, insurance and student health fees include Undergraduate Student Health Insurance Premiums (USHIP), Graduate Student Health Insurance Premiums (GSHIP), and the Medical Student Disability Insurance Fee.

On the reverse of the student copy of your 1098-T, you will find the "financial supplement," providing more detailed information. Part 1 "Payments Received for Tuition and Related Expenses," displays your payments broken down into the following expense categories (if applicable):

Access your record at UCI's Tax Credit Reporting Service (TCRS) http://www.1098t.com/ to view and print copies of your 1098-T and "financial supplement." Also at this web site, the expense categories in Part 1 are linked to more information. For example, just click on a link for "Regular Session Fees," and you will see the details (dates, descriptions, amounts) for all transactions that were compiled into that category, such as:

03/14/2007 Qualified Education Expenses (Q) Regular Session Fees (05) Spring 2007 SPRING 2007 REG FEES $2,264.50

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Question:  Why are Boxes 2, 3, and 10 blank?

Answer: These boxes are blank because the information is not applicable to UCI as the filer of your 1098-T.

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Question:  What does an amount in Box 4 mean?

Answer:  Box 4 ("Adjustments made for a prior year") shows any refunds during the current year for payments of "qualified tuition and related expenses" reported on a 1098-T for a prior tax year.  For example, if you paid Winter 2007 registration fees when due in December 2006, "qualified tuition" for that quarter would have been reported on your 1098-T for 2006.  If you subsequently received a refund of Winter 2007 registration fees in January 2007, the amount refunded would be reported in Box 4 for tax year 2007.  Refunds may be the result of changing from full-time to part-time study, nonresident to resident classification, or cancellation/withdrawal.

If you access your record at UCI's Tax Credit Reporting Service (TCRS) at http://www.1098t.com/ , you may view and print copies of your 1098-T and "financial supplement." At the web site, the expense categories in Part 3 of the "financial supplement" are linked to more information. For example, just click on a link for "Regular Session Fees," and you will see the details (dates, descriptions, amounts) for all transactions that were compiled into that category, such as:

01/29/2007 Adjustments to Charges (X) Regular Session Fees (05) Winter 2007 PTFT STATUS CHANGE -$901.00

The amount in Box 4 may reduce any allowable education credit you claimed for a prior year.  For more information, refer to "When Must the Credit be Repaid (Recaptured)" for the Hope and Lifetime Learning credits in Publication 970: Tax Benefits for Education [download].

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Question:  What does an amount in Box 5 mean?

Answer:  Box 5 ("Scholarships or grants") shows the net amount of certain forms of educational assistance that were received or applied to your student account during the tax year (January - December), regardless of the quarter for which the funds originally were intended.  For example, if you received a check for Fall 2006 Pell Grant in 2007, the amount of the check would be added into Box 5.  Note that the amount in Box 5 may include fee payments and other credits, as well as checks.  Any subsequent adjustments or reductions to educational assistance that occurred in the same tax year are summed into the amount.  The net amount is sent to the IRS.

The IRS states that there is "no double benefit allowed." This means that if you pay tuition with certain forms of educational assistance, on which you do not pay taxes, you must reduce any education credit you claim by those amounts.  See "No Double Benefit Allowed" in Chapter 2 (Hope Credit), or "No Double Benefit Allowed" in Chapter 3 (Lifetime Learning Credit) of Publication 970: Tax Benefits for Education [download] for more information.  Reportable forms of education assistance are not limited strictly to scholarships and grants, but may include funds received from employers or sponsors. 

On the reverse of the student copy of your 1098-T, you will find the "financial supplement," providing more detailed information.  Part 2 "Scholarships or Grants," displays relevant educational assistance broken down into the following categories (if applicable):

Access your record at UCI's Tax Credit Reporting Service (TCRS) http://www.1098t.com/ to view and print copies of your 1098-T and "financial supplement." Also at this web site, the educational assistance categories in Part 2 are linked to more information. For example, just click on a link for "Grants and Scholarships," and you will see the details (dates, descriptions, amounts) for all transactions that were compiled into that category, such as:

02/27/2007 Gift Aid and/or Fee Reductions (G) Grants and Scholarships (50) Spring 2007 UC Irvine Grant Sprg $1,363.50

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Question:  What does an amount in Box 6 mean?

Answer:  Box 6 ("Adjustments to Scholarships or grants for a prior year") shows an amount if "scholarships or grants" that were reported on a 1098-T for a prior year were subsequently adjusted or reduced in the current tax year.  For example, if you received Fall 2006 UC Irvine Grant in September 2006, it would be reported as "scholarships or grants" on your 1098-T for 2006.  If the grant amount later was adjusted or reduced in January 2007, and the charge to your student account was paid, the amount cannot be summed into Box 5.  It must be reported separately in Box 6 for tax year 2007.

If you access your record at UCI's Tax Credit Reporting Service (TCRS) at http://www.1098t.com/ , you may view and print copies of your 1098-T and "financial supplement." At the web site, the expense categories in Part 3 of the "financial supplement" are linked to more information. For example, just click on a link for "Regular Session Fees," and you will see the details (dates, descriptions, amounts) for all transactions that were compiled into that category, such as:

01/31/2007 Adjustments to Gift Aid (Y) Grants and Scholarships (50) Fall 2006 ADJ-UC Irvine Grant Fal -$300.00

The amount in Box 6 may affect any allowable education credit you claimed for a prior year.  Please consult a tax expert to determine if you may need to recalculate your tax benefit for that prior year.

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Question:  What does the check mark in Box 7 mean?

Answer:  Box 7, if checked, indicates that "payments received" in Box 1 include "Pre-paid Regular Session Fees" and/or "Pre-paid University Extension Fees."  "Pre-paid" fees are those paid during the tax year for a quarter beginning in the first 3 months of the following tax year. At UCI, only Winter quarter registration fees fit into these criteria, because fees are due and payable in December of one tax year for instruction beginning in January of the following tax year. Spring quarter registration fees are never considered "pre-paid," because fees are always due and payable in the same tax year as instruction begins. "Expenses That Do Not Qualify," such as student health insurance, are not included in the amount of "Pre-paid Regular Session Fees." 

On the reverse of the student copy of your 1098-T, you will find the "financial supplement," providing more detailed information. Part 1 "Payments Received for Tuition and Related Expenses," displays your payments broken down into the following expense categories (if applicable):

Access your record at UCI's Tax Credit Reporting Service (TCRS) http://www.1098t.com/ to view and print copies of your 1098-T and "financial supplement." Also at this web site, the expense categories in Part 1 are linked to more information. For example, just click on a link for "Pre-paid Regular Session Fees," and you will see the details (dates, descriptions, amounts) for all transactions that were compiled into that category, such as:

12/04/2007 Qualified Education Expenses (Q) PrePaid Regular Session Fees (83) Winter 2008 WINTER 2008 REG FEES $2,518.50

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Question:  What does the check mark in Box 8 mean?

Answer: Box 8, if checked, indicates that you were considered to be "enrolled at least half-time" for one or more quarters during the tax year.  At UCI, "at least half-time" means that you were enrolled in 6 or more units for any quarter.

In order to claim the Hope Credit, a student must be enrolled at least half-time in a program that leads to a degree, certificate, or other recognized educational credential for at least one academic period beginning during the tax year.  (See "Who is an Eligible Student" in Chapter 1 of IRS Publication 970:  Tax Benefits for Education [download] for more information.)

Note that a check mark does not guarantee your ability to claim the Hope Credit, as additional eligibility requirements must be met.   Also note that the workload requirement does not apply to the Lifetime Learning Credit, which is allowed for any level of enrollment.

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Question:  What does the check mark in Box 9 mean?

Answer:  Box 9, if checked, indicates that you were enrolled in a graduate program for one or more quarters during the tax year.  The University checks this box if you attended as a graduate student for any quarter of your enrollment during the tax year. 

In order to claim the Hope Credit, a student must not have completed the first 2 years of postsecondary education (generally, the freshman and sophomore years of college) as of the beginning of the tax year.  (See "Who is an Eligible Student" in Chapter 1 of IRS Publication 970:  Tax Benefits for Education [download]  for more information.)

Note that the lack of a check mark in this box does not guarantee eligibility for the Hope Credit, which must be claimed within the first two years of postsecondary education.  Since the Lifetime Learning Credit is not so limited, you may choose to apply expenses for graduate-level degree work towards claiming this benefit.

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The information provided in this web page is NOT tax advice.  It is offered only as general information for UCI students and their families.  Please consult a qualified tax expert for advice on computing, claiming, or determining qualification for any tax benefit mentioned in this web site.


Further information is available from:

Internal Revenue Service

Internal Revenue Service
(800) 829-1040 or TTY (800) 829-4059

Publication 970:  Tax Benefits for Higher Education
Tax Topic 456:  Student Loan Interest Deduction
Tax Topic 605:  Education Credits
FAQ:  Hope & Lifetime Learning Educational Credits
FAQ:  Education & Work-Related Expenses
Tax Trail:  Student Loan Interest
Tax Trail:  Deduction for Higher Education Expense

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