Frequently Asked Questions - Form 1098-T Tuition TaX

1. What is a 1098-T?

  • The IRS Form 1098-T is an information form filed with the Internal Revenue Service.
  • The IRS Form 1098-T that you received reports amounts paid for qualified tuition and related expenses, as well as other related information. 
  • You, or the person who may claim you as a dependent, may be able to take either the tuition and fees deduction or claim an education credit on Form 1040 or 1040A for the qualified tuition and related expenses that were actually paid during the calendar year. 
  • All information and assistance that CIAM can provide to you is contained in this notice. 
  • There is no IRS requirement that you must claim the tuition and fees deduction or an education credit. Claiming education tax benefits is a voluntary decision for those who may qualify.

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2. What do all the boxes on my 1098-T mean?

Please reference the Explanation of IRS Form 1098-T for more information.

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3. I am not a US Citizen. What does 1098-T mean to me?

Information for Nonresident Aliens

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not require CIAM to file a Form 1098-T for foreign students who are not US residents for tax purposes. This is because non-resident alien students are not eligible for education tax benefits. CIAM will provide a 1098-T to a non-resident alien student who requests one.

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4. Am I eligible for a tax credit?

Information Services for the Tuition and Fees Deduction and the Education Credits

CIAM cannot provide personal tax advice to students as each student's tax situation depends upon his/her own individual circumstances. Each student and/or their parents must determine eligibility for the tuition and fees deduction.

We recommend that you visit the IRS web site at:

You can contact the IRS for telephone assistance, including requesting forms and publications, at 1-800-829-1040.

At the IRS web site you can review:

  • IRS Publication 970 "Tax Benefits for Higher Education", which includes chapters on the Hope credit, the lifetime learning credit, and the tuition and fees deduction.
  • Form 8863 "Education Credits (American Opportunity, Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits)". 
  • Instructions for Form 1040 or 1040A. 
  • IRS Publication 17 "Tax Guide for Individuals".

The tax rules regarding eligibility for, calculation of, and limitations on the tuition and fee deduction and education credits can be complex. For this reason, you may want to consult your tax advisor to determine whether you are qualified to claim the education expense tax credits and deduction.

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5. Why didn’t I receive my 1098-T?

If you did not receive an IRS Form 1098-T for the current calendar year, possible explanations are:

  • CIAM did not have a valid social security number on file for you. Call (626) 350-1500 to verify your social security number.
  • The amount of qualified tuition and related fees paid during the calendar year was zero. 
  • CIAM did not have a current mailing address for you. Please ensure that your address information is up to date in the student portal.

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6. Can I view a current or prior year’s 1098-T?

Please contact student services for your current or prior 1098-T forms.

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7. What is included in my 1098-T?

Box 1 of Form 1098-T reports the qualified tuition and related expenses paid by you during the calendar year. Qualified tuition and related expenses are sometimes referred to as qualified education expenses, although the terms are not always interchangeable. For purposes of the Form 1098-T provided by CIAM, the following categories of charges are included or not included in qualified tuition and related expenses:


Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses

Included Not Included
  • Tuition
  • Late Charges
  • Application Fees
  • Processing Fees
  • Course Related Books and Equipment
  • Registration fees paid for non-credit courses

Billed Tuition vs. Paid Tuition

CIAM is choosing to report qualified tuition and related expenses that were paid during the calendar year, rather than the amount that was billed.

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8. I am an international student, do I need a Form 1098T?

For most international students, the answer is no.  However, that depends on whether you are a US citizen or a nonresident alien for US tax purposes.   CIAM makes the form available to all US citizens as required by law.  Nonresident aliens, however, are generally not eligible to claim any of the education-related tax credits or deductions for which the 1098-T form is intended to serve as documentation.  If you file your tax return on Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ, you are not eligible to claim those tax benefits

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9. How do I know whether I am an eligible person for tax purposes?

You are eligible for tax purposes if you are a US citizen, a Permanent Resident (“green card” holder), or a resident alien for tax purposes, by virtue of passing the Substantial Presence test for the year.  Otherwise, you are a nonresident alien for tax purposes.   More information is available in the IRS Publication 519 (US Tax Guide for Aliens).  Most F-1 and J-1 students are nonresident aliens for tax purposes and will not need the 1098-T form.

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10. Can I still receive a 1098-T form even if I am a nonresident alien?

Yes you may request a copy of the 1098-T form, but be advised that the receipt of this form does not indicate that for tax purposes you are eligible for any education-related benefits.

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