A copy of the Form 1098-T issued to each student is also provided to the IRS. The form can be used to ASSIST taxpayers with claiming education tax credits or deductions, but is officially just proof that a student attended a qualifying higher education institution. The IRS does not expect the numbers on Form 1098-T to match the information reported on a tax return. Taxpayers should rely on their own records of actual payments made to educational institutions during calendar year 2020 and additional questions or concerns should be directed to their tax advisor and/or the IRS.
Prior to tax year 2018, the 1098-T included a figure in Box 2 that represented the qualified tuition and related expenses (QTRE) we billed to your student account for the calendar (tax) year. Due to a change to institutional reporting requirements under federal law, beginning with tax year 2018, we now report in Box 1 the amount of QTRE you paid during the year.
Depending on your income (or your family’s income, if you are a dependent), whether you were considered full or half-time enrolled, and the amount of your qualified educational expenses for the year, you may be eligible for a federal education tax credit. (You can find detailed information about claiming education tax credits in IRS Publication 970, page 9.)
The dollar amounts reported on your Form 1098-T may assist you in completing IRS Form 8863 – the form used for calculating the education tax credits that a taxpayer may claim as part of your tax return.
Buffalo State College is unable to provide you with individual tax advice, but should you have questions, you should seek the counsel of an informed tax preparer or adviser.
You can review a sample of the 1098T and explanation of boxes here.
Online Access to 1098-T Form
Buffalo State College has partnered with Heartland ECSI to deliver the 1098-T statements. The Heartland 1098-T website is available 24/7 providing students access to their tax statements. It allows students to view and print their 1098-T tuition statement.
Please note, an email was sent to all students December 1 giving the option to opt in to the electronic 1098T form.
Go to heartland.ecsi.net, then:
The school identification page will be displayed. In the school name search box, type “Buffalo State College” and click submit.
The student Identification page will be displayed. Complete the fields for First Name, Last Name, SSN, and Zip Code.
Click the checkbox “I am not a robot,” then click “continue.”
Your personal 1098T page will be displayed. Click the (+) to expand the 1098-T Statement section to see your statement details as well as a link to a printer friendly version of your 1098T statement.
Need help logging in to Heartland ECSI? Please call 866-428-1098, Monday – Friday, 7:30am – 8:00pm EST.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do higher education institutions have any information reporting requirements under section 6050S for emergency financial aid grants awarded to students under section 3504, 18004, or 18008 of the CARES Act? (added December 14, 2020)
No. The emergency financial aid grants are qualified disaster relief payments, as described in A1 above, and are not included in students' gross income. As noted in A2 above, students may not claim deductions or credits for these amounts. The reporting of these grants to the IRS on Forms 1098-T could result in the issuance of underreporter notices (Letters CP2000) to students and furnishing such Forms 1098-T to students could cause confusion. Thus, the IRS will not require that these grants be reported pursuant to section 6050S of the Internal Revenue Code on Form 1098-T.
Why is Box 1 omitted in prior years?
In previous tax years, educational institutions are given the option to report either payments received in Box 1 or total qualified tuition and expenses charges (billed) in Box 2. Buffalo State College had chosen to report charges, not payments received. Starting with tax year 2018, the college must report in Box 1.
Why does Box 5 "Financial Aid" more than Box 1 "Payments?
Box 5 is a total of all financial aid, scholarships, grants and third party payments per IRS instructions (IRS does not include loans) that are posted to the student's account during the tax year. A student's financial aid is based on their total cost of attendance, which incudes costs that may not be considered qualified by the IRS for the Payments reported in Box 1.
Why did I receive a 1098T?
IRS Form 1098-T contains information to assist the IRS and you in determining if you are eligible to claim educational related tax credits such as the American Opportunity Credit and Lifetime Learning Tax Credit. The Tax Relief Act of 1997 states that educational institutions are required to file informational returns with the IRS indicating a student's enrollment, and report either amounts billed, or payments received for qualified tuition and related expenses. The 1098-T the student receives in the mail is the information that was sent to the IRS by Buffalo State College. This form is an informational return for your personal records, and is not required to be submitted with your tax return.
Why didn't I receive a 1098-T?
There are several reasons why a 1098-T may not have been required to be generated or why you did not receive the form. These may include:
no payments of IRS qualified charges posted during the tax year;
no financial aid or scholarships posted during the tax year;
if you are classified as a Non-Resident Alien, the College is not required to produce a 1098-T;
if your 1098-T was sent to an old or incorrect address, you can update your current mailing address and access an electronic 1098-T copy in your Self Service Banner, via the portal.
How do I receive a copy of 1098-T?
Buffalo State College has partnered with ECSI, offering you the opportunity to receive your 1098-T Tuition Statement electronically this year. If you would like to receive your 1098-T form electronically, please give your consent by following the link provided below and following the step by step instructions. 1098-T’s will be provided by the end of January 2021. If electronic consent is not received by January 1, 2021, the 1098-T will be mailed to the current address on file.
If Buffalo State College was required to produce a form for you, it will be mailed out, or be made available electronically, by January 31st. The fastest way to receive a 1098-T is for students to log onto their Self Service Banner portal and access it electronically.
How do I file the 1098-T tax form with the IRS?
The College does not give tax advice on how to use the form. If you have such questions, please contact your tax preparer, tax adviser or the IRS. The IRS has published information about the 1098-T tax form available online.
Why is Box 2 “Amounts Billed” blank?
Beginning in 2018, the IRS has required that we report in Box 1 “Payments Received”. Prior to 2018, we reported on Box 2 “Amounts Billed”.
Does this Form establish “proof of payment” for an IRS audit?
No. The IRS requires colleges and universities to report total qualified tuition and related expenses (QTRE) “payments received” in Box 1. The amount in Box 1 is the result of complex calculations performed by our general ledger software and may not correspond to your actual payments to be reported on your tax return. For these reasons, students are required to maintain their own proof of payment records such as receipts, check copies and bank/credit card statements. You may print your statements by semester in Nelnet, which will detail dates payments were made by semester. Please contact your tax advisor or the IRS for more information.
The Box 1 amount is different from the amount that shows on my tuition statement and/or receipts.
Please refer to IRS Publication 970 page 2, which states: When figuring an education credit, use only the amounts you paid and are deemed to have paid during the tax year for qualified education expenses. In most cases, the student should receive Form 1098-T from the eligible educational institution by January 31. However, the amounts on Form 1098-T, [box 1], might be different than the amount you actually paid and are deemed to have paid. Therefore, the amount reported in box 1 is not used to validate or reconcile the amount reported on a taxpayer form. It is up to the taxpayer to determine using their records what in fact, they did pay in qualified expenses. Box 1 includes total qualified amounts paid. For purposes of 1098-T reporting, some fees, including dining and housing, are excluded from this amount. You will need to consult your tax advisor or the IRS to determine what expenses are reportable on your tax return.
How do I find the payments I made during 2020?
Students and authorized payers will need to review their payment history through Nelnet to calculate payments made in 2020 toward Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses (QTRE).
Are the payments listed in Box 1 the amount I will use on my tax return?
The amount provided in Box 1 serves as a resource to you when you complete your Form 1040. Consult your tax professional who can help you calculate the amount you will report.
Since I received Form 1098-T from the College, do I qualify for one of the education tax credits?
Not necessarily. Consult your tax preparer to determine your eligibility.
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