The 2003 tax year was the first year in which educational institutions were required to report financial information to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and to the student via the IRS Form 1098-T.
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Forms are mailed by SUNY from Albany at the end of January.
Reporting Amounts Billed vs. Payments Received
Final regulations developed by the IRS for the Tax Relief Act of 1997 allow educational institutions to choose whether the financial information reported for tax credits is based upon "amounts billed" or upon "payments received." Since the entire system of SUNY colleges is considered a single entity by the IRS, i.e., only one IRS tax identification number is assigned to the SUNY system, all SUNY colleges must report the financial information for tax credits in the same fashion. SUNY System Administration has determined that all SUNY colleges will report "amounts billed."
Determining the Amount to Report
SUNY Brockport reports those charges (see Explanation of Qualifying Expenses for Education Tax Credit) that have been billed to students during the tax year. IRS Publication 970 and instructions for IRS Form 8863 give specific instructions to taxpayers to determine the amounts they can report for education tax credits. Students should review the IRS Publication 970 and instructions for IRS Form 8863 in consultation with an appropriate tax professional before reporting tax credits. SUNY Brockport cannot provide tax advice. However, as an additional service to assist students, SUNY Brockport also provides the payment received during the tax year on the web inquiry for students.
Prior Year Adjustments
If a student has paid for qualifying expenses in a prior tax year and those expenses have been reduced during the current tax year, reporting a prior year adjustment may be necessary. Prior year adjustments are identified separately on the IRS 1098-T form. Both qualifying expenses and grants/scholarships can be affected by a prior year adjustment. In the web inquiry for students for education tax credits, prior year adjustments are displayed as a negative amount.
Changes in IRS Regulations
Students and their families are encouraged to read IRS Publication 970 for more information on education tax credits. As it is possible for changes to occur, it is recommended that this publication be reviewed each year before reporting tax credit information. This publication is available online form the IRS at IRS.