1098-T Frequently Asked Questions

Why did I receive a form 1098-T?

IRS Form 1098-T, is entitled "Tuition Statement," and 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, such as California State University, Chico, 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 form the student receives in the mail is the information that was sent to the IRS by California State University, Chico.  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 form 1098-T?  

There are several reasons why a 1098-T form may not have been required to be generated or why you did not received the form:

  • If you are classified as a Non-Resident Alien, the University is not required to produce a 1098-T.
  • If your 1098-T form was sent to an old or incorrect address.  In which case, you can update your current mailing address and access an electronic 1098-T copy in your Student center, via the portal.

How do I receive a copy of Form 1098-T?

If California State University, Chico was required to produce a form for you, it will mail out, or made available electronically, by January 31st.  The fastest way to receive a 1098-T is for students to log onto your student center in the portal and access it electronically.

  • Once in your Student Center, scroll down to the “Finance” section.  Click on the “View 1098-T" link. 

What amounts are included in Box 2 "Amounts billed for qualified tuition and related expenses?"

The University is required by the IRS to either fill in the payments received (Box 1) or the amounts billed for qualified tuition and related expenses (Box 2). CSU, Chico has chosen to report the amount billed; therefore, we fill in Box 2.

  • Qualified tuition and related expenses are defined as tuition and certain related expenses required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution. Student-activity fees and expenses for course-related books, supplies, and equipment are included in qualified related expenses only if the fees and expenses must be paid to the institution as a condition of enrollment or attendance.
  • Unqualified expenses include university housing, meal plans, health insurance, transportation, or other similar personal, living, or family expenses.

    SeeIRS publication 970 for specific examples of qualified and unqualified tuition and related expenses.

Why is Box 1 blank?

CSU, Chico reports in Box 2, amounts billed for qualified tuition and related expenses.  We do not report payments received; please retain your receipts for proof of payment.

Why is Box 8 not checked for at least half-time enrollment?

If your first semester begins outside of the calendar year reported, then box 8 will not be checked.  Box 8 is checked if you are at least a half-time student for at least one academic period that beings during the calendar year.  This requirement is set for the American Opportunity Tax Credit.  You do not have to meet the workload requirement to qualify for the Lifetime learning Tax Credit.

Since I received Form 1098-T from the University, am I qualified for one of the educational tax credits?

Not necessarily.  Determination of eligibility is the responsibility of the taxpayer. The University is required to file Form 1098-T with the IRS and to mail a copy to each student who was billed for qualified tuition and related expenses.

Can the school give me tax advice?

It’s important to note the school cannot provide individual income tax advice. If you have any 1098-T tax-related questions regarding the tax credit, eligibility, reporting your tax credit on your tax return, etc, please contact a tax professional or the IRS.

How do I determine if I am eligible for an educational tax credit? Or find additional information on eligibility of various tax credits?

You or your parents may be eligible for the educational tax credits on your tax return. The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 created two educational tax credits for students and families, the American Opportunity Credit and the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit.

For a more detailed description you can read IRS Publication 970 which can be found on the IRS web site.

Where can I get a list of payments made to the University?

  • You can log onto your student center via the portal
  • Once in the Student Center, scroll down to the “Finance” section, click “Account Inquiry,” and then click the “payments” tab.  You can then use the date filter to view the payments made on your student account.

Additional Information:

The web links below provide more detailed information about the Hope Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit.

This information is not intended as legal or tax advice. Individuals should obtain IRS Publication 970, "Tax Benefits for Higher Education," or contact a tax practitioner about personal income tax situations.