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Potsdam Prepared: Fall 2021 Updates

Tax Forms Information

Accessing Your 1098-T on BearPAWS

Looking for your 1098-T? This short, informational video helps explain both this IRS document, as well as how to access the information via the student BearPAWS account (beginning at 53 seconds).

Explanation of IRS Form 1098-T

  • The IRS Form 1098-T is an information form filed with the Internal Revenue Service.
  • The form reports amounts paid up to the amount of qualified tuition and related expenses billed from January 1 through December 31st of the tax year.
  • 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.
  • The 1098-T Supplemental Information that SUNY Potsdam is providing can assist you and your tax preparer in completing your tax return.
  • There is no need to attach Form 1098-T to your tax return.
  • All information and assistance that SUNY Potsdam 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.

SUNY Potsdam reports qualified tuition and related expenses that were billed during the calendar year. In general, qualified tuition and related expenses are considered to be billed when you register for classes. Please note: This means if a student registers for the spring semester during the fall term, the spring semester charges will be billed during the prior calendar year. (Ex// Registration for Spring 2019 during December 2018 may result in Spring 2019 charges being reported in the 2018 Tax Year.)

What is Reported / Supplemental Information

Payments Received

Box 1 of Form 1098T reports the total of payments received for qualified tuition and related expenses during the calendar year being reported, up to the Qualified Tuition and Related expenses. Payments received do not include amounts that are waived due to tuition and fee waivers such as Associated Colleges, or UUP Tuition waivers.

Negative payments represent tuition refunds, which generally result when classes are dropped or withdrawn from. Tuition refunds, i.e. negative payments, must be subtracted from positive payments to calculate qualified tuition and related expenses paid during the calendar year. All payments are first used to pay charges. Payments in excess of charges are refunded to the student.

Types of Payments Included

  • Direct payments by cash, check, or credit card
  • Financial aid credited to tuition and related expenses, including loans
  • Payments from outside sponsors
  • Credits posted to your student account by SUNY Potsdam
  • Charge reversals from SUNY Potsdam

Scholarships or Grants

Box 5 of Form 1098-T reports the total of scholarships or grants administered and processed by SUNY Potsdam during the calendar year being reported. Please note, disbursements of scholarships and grants do not always occur during the semester in which they were intended for. The amount reported in Box 5 does not include:

  • Military/Veteran Benefit Payments
  • Scholarships, grants, reimbursements or other types of sponsorships not administered or processed by SUNY Potsdam.
  • Student loans, for example subsidized, unsubsidized, PLUS, Perkins, and alternative loans.
  • Tuition waivers provided during the calendar year.
  • Work-study.

The amount of any Third Party scholarship(s) or grant(s) for the tax year not reported (because they are not administered and processed by SUNY Potsdam) may reduce the amount of any allowable tuition and fee deduction or education credit that you are entitled to. Please use your own records when filing a return with the IRS.

Billed Expenses

Charges billed are supplemental and not reported on the IRS form, but can impact the amount reported in Box 1. Payments received will only be up to the amount of qualified charges billed.

Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses

Qualified tuition and related expenses are sometimes also referred to as qualified education expenses. For purposes of the Form 1098-T provided by SUNY Potsdam, the following categories of charges are included or not included in qualified tuition and related expenses:

Included:
Career Services Fee
Course/Lab Fees
College Fee
Music/Concert Fees
Technology Fee
Transcript Fee
Tuition (Resident, Out-of-State, Undergraduate, Graduate NYS Excelsior)

Not Included:
Add/Drop Fees
Alumni Fee
Athletic Fee
Application Fees
Bear Express
Counseling Center Fees
Dorm Fees & Fines
Health Fee
Health Insurance Premiums
International Health Insurance
Late Payment Charges
Orientation Fees
Parking Permit/Registration Fees
Springfest Endowment Gift
Student Activity Fee
Student Health Center Labs/Charges
Traffic Fines
Transportation Fee

 

The billed amount of tuition and fees reported will be reduced by the following deductions:

Qualified Tuition and Related Expenses Reduced by:

  • Associated Colleges Waivers
  • B-140 Tuition Waivers
  • Current-year reductions in billed amounts for semesters billed during the calendar year. For example, a reduction due to withdrawal from classes. The reductions may or may not have resulted in a refund, depending on whether the billed amounts had been paid prior to the reduction.
  • SUNY Cross-Registration Waivers
  • UUP Tuition Waivers

Form 1098-T Tuition Tax FAQs

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 billed to you 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.
  • The 1098-T Supplemental Information that SUNY Potsdam is providing can assist you and your tax preparer in completing your tax return.
  • There is no need to attach Form 1098-T to your tax return.
  • All information and assistance that SUNY Potsdam can provide to you is contained in this notice.

Why Doesn’t Box 1 match the amount I know I paid?
Payments for non-qualified charges, such as housing and meal expenses, are not included in the Box 1 total. Only payments received up to the amount of qualified charges billed are calculated. For a complete itemized list of qualified tuition and related expenses, refer to the student BearPAWS account. Visit the Student Services and Financial Aid Menu by selecting Student Records, then Tax Notification. You will need to enter the tax year you wish to view.

Why does the 2018 information look different?
Recent IRS requirements have changed the reporting methods for 1098-T. Beginning with the 2018 Tax Year, SUNY Potsdam began reporting payments received for the first time. Charges billed can be viewed in the supplemental data provided in the student BearPAWS account.

Why is the spring 2019 semester reported on my 2018 form?
SUNY Potsdam reports charges billed and payments received during the calendar tax year. Billing and payment activity often do not occur during the academic semester in which they are intended, and this can impact 1098-T reporting. For example, if a student registers in November 2018 for the Spring 2019 semester, the spring 2019 charges will be billed in the 2018 tax year and will be reported on the 2018 tax form.

What do all the boxes on my 1098-T mean?
Please reference the About IRS Form 1098-T Tuition Statement page provided by the IRS for more information.

Am I eligible for a tax credit?
SUNY Potsdam 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 or one of the education credits (American Opportunity or lifetime learning credit).

For authoritative information, we recommend that you visit the IRS web site at About IRS Form 1098-T Tuition Statement

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

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.

I am not a US Citizen. What does 1098-T mean to me?
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not require SUNY Potsdam 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.

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:

  • SUNY Potsdam did not have a valid social security number on file for you. Call the One-Stop at (315) 267-2943 to verify your social security number or email onestop@potsdam.edu.
  • The amount of qualified tuition and related fees billed during the calendar year was zero. See About IRS Form 1098-T Tuition Statement for more information regarding how billed tuition and related fees were determined.
  • SUNY Potsdam did not have a current mailing address for you. Please ensure that your address information is up to date through BearPAWS..

You can view your current or prior 1098-T forms online at any time by logging in to the student BearPAWS account, selecting the “Student” tab at the top of the page, selecting the “Student Account” option and clicking on the “Select Tax Year” link. On the next screen, enter the year you would like to view.

Can I view a current or prior year’s 1098-T?
You can view this information in the student BearPAWS account through the Student Services and Financial Aid Menu by selecting Student Records, then Tax Notification. You will need to enter the tax year you wish to view.

What is included in my 1098-T?
Payments Received
Box 1 of Form 1098T reports the total of payments received for qualified tuition and related expenses during the calendar year being reported, up to the Qualified Tuition and Related expensed. Payments received do not include amounts that are waived due to tuition and fee waivers such as Associated Colleges, or UUP Tuition waivers.

Negative payments represent tuition refunds, which generally result when classes are dropped or withdrawn from. Tuition refunds, i.e. negative payments, must be subtracted from positive payments to calculate qualified tuition and related expenses paid during the calendar year. Refunds are first used to pay charges and are only paid to the student if in excess of charges.

Types of Payments Included

  • Direct payments by cash, check, or credit card
  • Financial aid credited to tuition and related expenses, including loans
  • Payments from outside sponsors
  • Credits posted to your student account by SUNY Potsdam
  • Charge reversals from SUNY Potsdam

Scholarships or Grants
Box 5 of Form 1098-T reports the total of scholarships or grants administered and processed by SUNY Potsdam during the calendar year being reported. Please note, disbursements of scholarships and grants do not always occur during the semester in which they were intended for. The amount reported in Box 5 does not include:

  • Military/Veteran Benefit Payments
  • Scholarships, grants, reimbursements or other types of sponsorships not administered or processed by SUNY Potsdam.
  • Student loans, for example subsidized, unsubsidized, PLUS, Perkins, and alternative loans.
  • Tuition waivers provided during the calendar year.
  • Work-study.

The amount of any scholarships or grants reported for the calendar year and other similar amounts not reported (because they are not administered and processed by SUNY Potsdam) may reduce the amount of any allowable tuition and fee deduction or education credit that you are entitled to.

Billed Expenses (Charges billed are supplemental and not reported on the IRS form, but can impact the amount reported in Box 1. Payments received will only be up to the amount of qualified charges billed.)