1098-T Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What is the IRS Form 1098-T? 

A: The Form 1098-T is a statement that colleges and universities are required to issue to certain  students. It provides the total dollar amount paid by the student for what is referred to as qualified  tuition and related expenses (or “QTRE”) in a single tax year. 

Q: When will I receive my Form 1098-T? 

A: If you elected to receive your Form 1098-T electronically, these will be available to you on or  before January 31 (or the next business day). If you have not elected an electronic version, you will  receive your Form 1098-T in the mail with a date on or before January 31st post stamp. All students  can view their 1098-T via their CougarNet account. 

Q: How do I view my Form 1098-T online?

A: Instructions on how to view your Form 1098-T can be found here.

Q: Why don’t the numbers on Form 1098-T equal the amounts I paid to Cleveland State  Community College during the year? 

A: There are potentially many reasons for this discrepancy. First, the amount in Box 1 only  represents amounts paid for qualified tuition and related expenses (QTRE) and does not include  payments made for books, digital course materials, fines, or rentals, though important, are not  considered mandatory education expenses for tax purposes. Secondly, Form 1098-T reports  amounts that the student paid in a certain year, and the pay date does not necessarily correspond to  the dates that the classes were attended. For example, tuition for the Spring semester is typically  billed in November so a student may have paid tuition for the Spring semester in 2019 despite the  fact that classes didn’t start until 2020. The best and most accurate source of information about the  amounts that you paid for qualified tuition and related expenses will be your Fee Bills. 

Q: Does the 1098-T include charges for books? 

A: No, the college does not include amounts paid for books in Box 2 of Form 1098-T. You should  consult with your tax advisor to determine if payments for books, equipment or fees should be  considered when preparing your income tax returns and determining eligibility for education tax  credits or deductions. 

Q: What semesters are included in my Form 1098-T? 

A: Typically, charges are posted to your student account in November for the Spring semester and in  June for the Fall semester. Box 1 of Form 1098-T reflects payments made during the calendar year  for qualified tuition and related expenses and it is not based on when the classes were attended or  billed to the student account. Your account on CougarNet will show the dates payments were posted  to your account and are a valuable resource for determining the semesters that are included in your  Form 1098-T. You can access your account on CougarNet under the MyAccount section. 

Q: I graduated in May, do I have a Form 1098-T for 2018? 

A: Some May graduates will not be issued a Form 1098-T because there is a possibility that  payments for QTRE for Spring were made on or before December 31. The Spring semester tuition  charges were generally billed and posted in November and, therefore, would have been included on  the current year Form 1098-T, in Box 2. If a student paid for the Spring semester and any other  outstanding QTRE charges in prior year, then the student would not receive a Form 1098-T. 

Q: How do I prepare my tax returns without a Form 1098-T? 

A: Form 1098-T reports payments received from the student for qualified tuition and related  expenses (Box 1) during the preceding calendar year. However, if the student receives scholarships, grants and/or fellowships in the preceding year in excess of the amounts they paid in  QTRE, the college is not required to issue a Form 1098-T to the student. When determining your  eligibility for education related tax credits and deductions, you will need to report the amount you  paid for qualified education and related expenses. Therefore, your student account will be the best  and most accurate source of information for amounts paid for qualified education and related  expenses. This is true regardless of whether you receive a Form 1098-T or not. 

Q: My accountant says that the University must provide me with a form 1098-T.

A: The University in not required, by the IRS, to furnish a Form 1098-T in the following instances: 

  • Payments for courses for which no academic credit is offered, even if the student is otherwise  enrolled in a degree program.  
  • Enrolled student is a nonresident alien, unless requested by the student. 
  • Students whose qualified tuition and related expenses are entirely waived or paid entirely with  grants/scholarships. 
  • Students for whom you do not maintain a separate financial account and whose qualified tuition  and related expenses are covered by a formal billing arrangement between an institution and the  student's employer or a governmental entity, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs or the  Department of Defense.

Q: Why isn’t Box 2 filled out on my Form 1098-T when it has been in prior year? 

A: In previous years, Form 1098-T included a dollar amount in Box 2 that represented the qualified  tuition and related expenses (QTRE) the college 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, the college must report in Box 1 the amount of QTRE you paid during the year. 

Q: I can’t get access to my Form 1098-T because I have graduated and have forgotten my  access information. 

A: Please contact the Cleveland State Help Desk at helpdesk@clevelandstatecc.edu to have your  password reset in order to access your student account. 

Q: I don’t understand what I’m supposed to do with this Form 1098-T. HELP! 

A: We are unable to provide tax advice. For guidance you may want to consider the IRS Publication 970 in addition to choosing a Tax Professional.



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