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.
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 Transactions Qualify?
Qualified education expenses are:
- 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
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:
- taxpayer identification number
- dollar amount of qualified transactions
- 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
The IRS requires universities to report either payments received or amounts billed. USC uses the amounts billed method to report all qualifying charges on box 2 of the form. Box 1 will be blank. To assist you in calculating your credit, USC provides you with a transaction summary, as an addendum to the 1098-T form. This additional information is not sent to the IRS.
USC is required to report all qualified transactions in the calendar year they posted to your account, regardless of the year in which you paid them or 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.
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 their 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 can be found under “Financial Information.”
What if I Believe Data on My Form is Incorrect?
Please keep in mind, 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 to file a case.
What if ECSI says There is No Form for Me?
- If your last term of enrollment was spring and you registered prior to December 31, 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.