1098-T Tuition Statement - Frequently Asked Questions
San Mateo County Community College District
(College of San Mateo, Skyline College, Cañada College)
Disclaimer: The information provided in this document is NOT tax advice.
It is offered only as general information for San Mateo County Community College District students and their families. For any question on computing, claiming or determining qualification for any tax benefit mentioned in this document, please consult with a qualified tax professional and review the IRS Tax Benefits for Education information at:English Español
- Why did I receive the Form 1098T? What is its purpose?
- What is an Education Tax Credit?
- Is my 1098-T statement available on line?
- Who should I contact if I need further assistance or cannot find my answers from this FAQ?
Specific information – Refers to Box number on the 1098-T form
- Box 1. Payment Received
- Box 2. Amount Billed for qualified tuition and related expenses
- Box 3. Check if reporting method has changed for 2016
- Box 4. Adjustments made for a prior year
- Box 5. Scholarships or grants
- Box 6. Adjustments to scholarships or grants for a prior year
- Box 7. Checked if the amount in box 1 or 2 includes amounts for an academic period beginning January - March of the new tax year.
- Box 8. Check if at least half-time student
- Box 9. Checked if a graduate student
- Box 10. Ins. contract reimb./refund
Why did I receive the Form 1098T? What is its purpose?
THIS IS NOT A BILL OR REQUEST FOR PAYMENT
The IRS requires educational institutions to report to students the amount of qualified tuition and related expenses (fees) billed to them or paid by them during the calendar year. The San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD) reports the total amount billed (not paid) for the calendar year. The purpose of the form is to help the student determine whether you are eligible to claim an Education Tax Credit on your income tax returns. The 1098-T tuition statement has been furnished to you by the SMCCCD if you were enrolled in one or more of our three colleges: College of San Mateo, Skyline College and Cañada College.
What is an Education Tax Credit?
The Federal government currently allows for an educational tax credit called “The American Opportunity Tax Credit”. This credit is designed to reduce the income taxes paid by those students who pay their college tuition fees and course materials. Detailed information can be found in IRS Publication 970. If you meet the eligibility requirements, the credits may be used to reduce the amount of income tax you have to pay. Generally, you may be eligible to claim education credits if:
- You pay qualified tuition and related expenses of higher education
- You pay the tuition and related expenses for an eligible student
- The eligible student is either yourself, your spouse or a dependent for whom you can claim an exemption on your tax return (for example, your dependent child)
Is my 1098-T statement available on line?
Yes, you can access the electronic version of your 1098-T tuition statement. Simply log on to WebSMART and go to Student Services and then Student Records. Click on Tax Notification (1098-T Form) as seen on the screen shot on the right.
Your electronic 1098-T with a detailed breakdown of each amount shown will be displayed.
Who should I contact if I need further assistance or cannot find my answers from this FAQ?
- For Box 2 Qualified tuition and related expenses questions – please contact the Cashier Office number of your college below.
- For Box 5 Scholarship or Grants questions – please contact the Financial Aid Office number of your college below.
If your personal information (name, Social Security Number, address, etc.) is incorrect, please contact the Admissions and Records office number of your college below. Our staff will assist you in making the necessary corrections or updates.
Cashier Office Financial Aid Office Admissions and Records Office
Specific information – Refers to Box number on the 1098-T form
Box 1. Payment Received
The IRS gives educational institutions the option to report either payments received (Box 1) or amounts billed (Box 2) for qualified tuition and related expenses on the 1098-T tuition statement. The SMCCCD currently reports only qualified tuition and related expenses billed during the tax year (January to December) so Box 1 is blank.
(For 2017, Public Law 114-113, Division Q, section 212 requires educational institutions to only report qualified tuition and related expenses actually paid. Beginning next year, only Box 1 will be used because we will no longer be able to report the amount billed.)
Box 2. Amount Billed for qualified tuition and related expenses
We report the total amount billed to your student account during the tax year for qualified tuition and related expenses less any reductions in charges made during the tax year that relate to those amounts billed during the same tax year.
Examples of qualified tuition and related expenses included in Box 2:
- Enrollment Fee
- Student Representation Fee
- Materials Fee
- Student Union Fee (Skyline College only)
- Non-Res Tuition
- Non-Res Tuition (Capital Outlay)
Examples of other fee that are not included in Box 2:
- Health Fee
- Student Body Card Fee
- Parking Fee
The date of the billed charge is what determines the tax year used for 1098-T reporting. There is no relationship between the date of the charge and the semester for which those charges are billed. See the following example:Example: You register in November 2016 for a class that begins in February 2017. Even though the class is part of the spring 2017 semester, since it was billed to your account in November 2016, it is included on your 2016 1098-T tuition statement.
Box 3. Check if reporting method has changed for 2016Shows whether we have changed our method of reporting for 2016. We confirm there has been no change and therefore Box 3 is not checked.
Box 4. Adjustments made for a prior yearShows any adjustment made for a prior year for qualified tuition and related expenses that were reported on a prior year Form 1098-T.
Box 5. Scholarships or grants
Shows the total amount of all scholarships or grants administered and processed by your college for the calendar year.
Examples of scholarships or grants included in Box 5:
- BOG Fee Waiver
- SMCCC Foundation Scholarship (all)
- Outside/External Scholarships (Rotary, Elks Club, PG&E, etc.)
- Pell Grant (federal grant)
- Cal Gant (state grant)
Box 6. Adjustments to scholarships or grants for a prior yearShows adjustments to scholarships or grants for a prior year.
Box 7. Checked if the amount in box 1 or 2 includes amounts for an academic period beginning January - March of the new tax year.Shows whether the amount in box 1 or 2 includes amounts for an academic period beginning January-March of the new year.
Box 8. Check if at least half-time studentShows whether you are considered to be carrying 6 units, i.e. at least one-half the normal full-time workload for your course of study at the reporting institution.
Box 9. Checked if a graduate studentShows whether you are considered to be enrolled in a program leading to a graduate degree, graduate-level certificate, or other recognized graduate-level educational credential.
Box 10. Ins. contract reimb./refundShows the total amount of institutional reimbursements or refunds of qualified tuition and related expenses made by a third party sponsor.