1098-T Tax Form

Tax form 1098-T is a report of qualified education transactions USC is required to send to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on a student’s behalf. The information in your 1098-T will help you or your tax adviser determine whether you are eligible for the federal government’s American Opportunity tax credit and/or Lifetime Learning credit.  USC has contracted with Heartland ECSI to process out students’ 1098-T data.

New for 2018!

Beginning with the 2018 calendar/tax reporting year, the IRS now requires that institutions report the amount of tuition and other qualified charges paid by all sources rather than the amounts billed. Box 1 of the new 1098-T form will show all payments (including scholarships, loans and other third-party payments) toward qualified charges from any source. Box 2 will be blank.

Who is eligible to receive a 1098-T?

USC will send the form to all qualified:

  • U.S. citizens
  • permanent residents
  • international students who have filed a taxpayer identification number on their student records

What charges qualify?

Qualified education expenses are:

  • tuition
  • scholarships and grants
  • certain related expenses required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution

The educational tax credits are based on the qualified education expenses you pay for yourself, your spouse or a dependent for whom you claim an exemption on your tax return.

Per IRS guidelines, the following expenses do not qualify, even if you are required to pay them to attend college:

  • room and board
  • insurance and student health fees
  • transportation

Learn more about qualified education expenses at the www.irs.gov website.

What information is reported?

On the 1098-T, USC reports the following student information to the IRS:

  • name
  • taxpayer identification number
  • dollar amount of all payments toward qualified transactions
  • dollar amount of all financial aid credited to your account
  • adjustments to transactions reported in prior years
  • permanent address
  • whether you were a graduate student during the calendar year
  • whether you were at least a half-time student during the calendar year
  • whether any amounts reported pertain to courses beginning in the first quarter of the coming year

USC is required to report all qualified transactions in the calendar year they posted to your account, regardless of the academic period to which they belong. The university cannot modify the reporting method. Use your personal records and student account statements to determine the amounts you actually paid toward the charges reported on the 1098-T.

Why am I being asked to provide my SSN/ITIN?

The IRS requires the university to request your Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) annually if it is not recorded on your student account. Providing your number for payroll, stipends or GLACIER does not satisfy this requirement.

To enter your SSN or ITIN in your student account log in to MyUSC and select OASIS under the “Other Services” tab. Select “Add SSN/ITIN” to enter your number. This must be done by December 31 to be correct in that taxable year’s reporting.

How do I receive my 1098-T?

Before January 1 – Sign up for Electronic Delivery

If you have received a 1098-T from USC in a prior year, login to MyUSC and select the OASIS service.  Then select “Financial Information” and “1098-T (ECSI)” to be transferred securely to your record on ECSI.  Under “My Account” select “Signup for Electronic Tax Documents” and follow the instructions to submit your form.

If you receive an error message on ECSI or you have not received a 1098-t from USC in the past, visit   Heartland ECSI directly to sign up.  You will need:

  • the name that appears on your student record
  • your 10-digit USC student ID number
  • your USC email address

End of January – Forms are Available

Forms are prepared in January.  As soon as your form is ready, ECSI will email you instructions for downloading it from their website if you have signed up for electronic delivery.  If you have not signed up for electronic delivery, the form will be mailed to your permanent address no later than January 31.

The easiest way to download your current or prior year 1098-T is to login to MyUSC and select OASIS under the “Other Services” tab.  The 1098-T can be found under “Financial Information.”  If you do not have access to MyUSC, please follow the directions in the ECSI email or visit the ECSI website for more information.

What if the SSN or ITIN on my form is missing or incorrect?

To ADD your SSN or ITIN to the form, log in to MyUSC and select OASIS under the “Other Services” tab. Select “Add SSN/ITIN” to enter your number. Changes are processed in the order received.

To correct your SSN or ITIN on the form, you must file a change form with the USC Office of Academic Records and Registrar.

Heartland ECSI will notify you via email when the corrected form is ready.  To download your 1098-T, log in to MyUSC and select OASIS under the “Other Services” tab.  The 1098-T form can be found under “Financial Information.”

Why doesn’t the total in box 1 match what I paid to USC?

There are several reasons box 1 may not match your records exactly. First, box 1 includes payments received from all sources, including financial aid and third-party sponsors. Second, it includes only payments toward qualified tuition and related expenses. Although you may have paid for housing, meal plans and other charges, those payments cannot be included in box 1.  Finally, box 1 includes payments posted to your account only during the calendar year being reported. Payments made in 2017 for spring 2018 cannot be reported in 2018.

How is my payment plan reported on my 1098-T?

Your payment plan budget amount is not reported on your 1098-T. The actual payments made toward payment plans (excluding your application fees) are included in the box 1 amount to the extent that they paid for qualified charges.

Can you help me determine my eligibility for a credit?

No. We are not qualified tax professionals and cannot advise you on your individual circumstances. You should review IRS Publication 970 and consult with a qualified tax advisor if you need more assistance. All of your monthly billing statements and details about your online payments (including payment plan payments) are available on USCe.pay.

What if I believe data on my form is incorrect?

Please keep in mind that the 1098-T form includes only qualifying transactions from the calendar year reported.  If you still believe your form is incorrect, please contact Heartland ECSI at 866-428-1098 or visit ECSI online to file a case . Please provide a detailed description of what you believe is incorrect.

What if ECSI says there is no form for me?

  • If your most recent term of enrollment was spring of last year and you registered and settled prior to December 31 the previous year, the qualified charges for spring would have been reported on your prior year’s 1098-T. You should use that year’s form along with your own records of payments made to determine your eligibility for a tax credit.
  • Employee tuition assistance benefits and graduate assistant tuition remission are treated as reductions to qualified charges. No form is issued if you have no net qualified charges.
  • Forms are not required for students whose scholarships, grants or third-party payments meet or exceed qualified charges.