IMPORTANT UPDATE: Buffalo State College is required to provide you with financial information regarding qualified charges for tuition and related expenses, and scholarships and grants that were actually paid in the current tax year on the Form 1098-T. During our 1098T transition to include updated requirements and reporting methods, some of the calculations were miscalculated for students who received student loans for the 2018 tax period. Not all students were affected, however, Buffalo State is working diligently to correct the forms and if affected, you will be receiving a corrected version of the 1098T form, and the IRS will be notified of the corrected information.
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 2018 and additional questions or concerns should be directed to their tax advisor and/or the IRS.
In previous years, your 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 will 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.
Payments made prior to January 1, 2018 toward 2018 spring semester qualified tuition will not appear on a Form 1098-T either in 2017 or 2018 for the following reasons:
2017 Form 1098-T, Buffalo State College was reporting qualified charges in Box 2. Spring 2018 charges were incurred in December and reported in Box 2 on the 2017 Form 1098-T.
2018 Form 1098-T, Buffalo State College will be reporting qualified payments in Box 1. Your payment made prior to 1/1/18 cannot be reported in 2018. Box 2 will be blank.
While the transition can be a bit confusing, nothing has been lost or misreported during the transition from reporting in Box 2 in 2017, to reporting payments in Box 1 in 2018.
You can review a sample of the 1098T and explanation of boxes here.
Frequently Asked Questions
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 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: 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?
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 are excluded from this amount. Also, Box 1 is based on the amounts paid from all sources (including Financial Aid) and limited to the 2018 invoice amounts for the year. 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 2018?
Students and authorized payers will need to review their payment history through Nelnet to calculate payments made in 2018 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.
How will reporting be handled if spring 2018 charges are reported in Box 2 tuition billed for 2017 (pre-charges for 2018) and payments for these charges are reported in 2018 under Box 1?
Due to the change in reporting method, it is expected that charges reported in the previous year may also be reported as payments in the current year. Box 3, the change in reporting method on the 2018 form, along with Box 7 on the 2017 form, must be used by the tax payer/preparer to determine the correct amount to claim on their return.
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