Colleges and universities are required under Internal Revenue Code Section 6050S to issue the Form 1098-T for the purpose of determining a taxpayer’s eligibility for various tax credits and/or deductions. The form is informational only.
Ohio State reports payments received for qualified tuition and related expenses (QTRE) on IRS Form 1098-T. Box 1 will show the total payments received for QTRE in 2020 (January 1 – December 31), from any source.
While the FAQs below may provide some guidance, please note that Ohio State cannot provide tax filing advice regarding Form 1098-T or your eligibility for tax credits/deductions. Please visit irs.gov or contact your tax professional for filing assistance.
Spring 2020 and CARES Act Specific Questions
Will the money I received under the CARES Act be reflected on the 1098-T?
No. Per guidance from the IRS, CARES Act funds issued to students will not be reflected on the 1098-T.
I received emergency funding from Ohio State. Why is it being reflected in Box 5?
OSU scholarships are institutionally funded and awarded for a variety of reasons that are not necessarily related to the COVID-19 emergency, and consequently must be reported on IRS Form 1098-T.
The CARES fund grants are awarded solely to reimburse or pay for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred as a result of the COVID-19 emergency. Because of this, the university is able to designate these payments as “qualified disaster relief payments” under the law. Qualified disaster relief payments are not required to be reported on IRS Form 1098-T.
If you have questions regarding the tax treatment of your OSU scholarship, the university encourages you to consult with your personal tax advisor.
I graduated in 2020, but paid all of my spring 2020 tuition at the end of 2019. Why did I get a 1098-T for 2020?
If you are in this situation, you most likely had financial aid for the spring 2020 term that posted at the end of 2019.
When the university reduced the spring 2020 recreation (RPAC) fee from its original amount of $123 to $74.87 (a reduction of $48.13), this caused a systematic shifting of transactions on the student account, causing some aid and other payments to unapply and reapply to certain spring charges before ultimately generating a refund for $48.13.
This systematic shifting of transactions was picked up on the 1098-T as it occurred within the 2020 calendar year; however, the resulting effect of this shifting is net zero.
When does Ohio State issue Form 1098-T?
1098-Ts are made available to students by January 31. Students will receive an email to their osu.edu address when the form is available. Once issued, students may access the 1098-T form online through My Buckeye Link.
Who receives Form 1098-T?
Ohio State must file a Form 1098-T for each student enrolled for the given calendar year and for whom a reportable transaction is made.
However, the IRS does not require Ohio State to provide a Form 1098-T for:
- Courses for which no academic credit is offered, even if the student is otherwise enrolled in a degree program
- Courses in which an E or EN grade was received
- Nonresident alien students
- Students whose qualified tuition and related expenses are entirely waived or paid entirely with scholarships
- Students whose expenses are covered by a formal 3rd party billing arrangement
How do I get my 1098-T form?
A student who is eligible to receive a 1098-T can access it online through buckeyelink.osu.edu as soon as it is available each year for which they are eligible. 1098-T forms are required to be available by Jan. 31.
To view your 1098-T electronically, you will need internet access, a web browser and be signed in to buckeyelink.osu.edu. You will be able to view your 1098-T statements electronically for as long as you have OSU login access.
To see if you are eligible or to view your Form 1098-T:
Log in to buckeyelink.osu.edu
Search for and click on the Form 1098-T task
Choose the correct year from the "view 1098-T" tab.
To request a paper copy of your 1098-T instead of online delivery, you must withdraw your consent by the first Friday of spring semester. To do so, call the University Bursar at 614-292-1056 or email email@example.com. Once you withdraw consent, a paper copy will be mailed by Jan. 31 to the permanent address listed in My Buckeye Link.
To request a paper copy of your 1098-T after consenting to receive it electronically, please call 614-292-1056 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: Due to a limited presence on campus, requests to have Form 1098-T mailed will only be filled 1x/week. Please keep in mind, you may view, print, or download your 1098-T at any time on My Buckeye Link.
My Buckeye Link says I am “not eligible to receive a 1098-T form.” Why?
Depending on your particular situation, Ohio State may not be required to produce a Form 1098-T for you. Please review the “Who receives Form 1098-T” FAQ.
My name and/or address has changed, or I've obtained a SSN/ITIN, since my 2020 1098-T was generated. Can I request an updated version?
What fees are qualifying for tax purposes?
For purposes of the tuition and fees deduction, qualified education expenses are tuition and certain related expenses required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution.
Some common Ohio State expenses that are qualifying for tax purposes:
- Course/Lab fees
- General fees
- Instructional fees
- Non-resident fees
- Program fees
- Student activity fees
The housing, meal plan, orientation, COTA, Tuition Option Payment Plan and other miscellaneous fees are generally not qualifying expenses for tax purposes. Please reference IRS Publication 970 Tax Benefits for Education for additional guidance (see IRS Publication & Forms database.)
Some common Ohio State expenses that are not qualifying for tax purposes:
- Acceptance/Application fees
- COTA fee
- Health insurance
- Housing charges
- Dining/Meal plan charges
- Orientation fees
The Ohio State University cannot legally provide tax advice. Please consult with a qualified tax preparer or the IRS if you have tax-related questions.
What amounts are reported on Form 1098-T?
Box 1 represents payments received, from any source, for qualified tuition and related expenses.
Box 2 amounts billed are not reported by The Ohio State University.
Box 3 reflects a change in reporting method.
Box 4 shows any adjustment made by an eligible educational institution for a prior year for qualified tuition and related expenses that were reported on a prior year Form 1098-T. This amount may reduce any allowable education credit that you claimed for the prior year (may result in an increase in tax liability for the year of the refund).
Box 5 shows the total of all scholarships or grants administered and processed by the eligible educational institution. The amount of scholarships or grants for the calendar year (including those not reported by the institution) may reduce the amount of the education credit you claim for the year.
Box 6 represents the amount of reductions or refunds made for scholarships or grants that were reported for a prior year.
Box 7 is checked if a reported payment was made for a semester beginning in early 2021 (January - March).
Box 8 is only checked if you have been at least a half-time student (6 credit hours) for a least one academic period that began during the calendar year.
Box 9 is checked if you were enrolled as a graduate student for at least one academic period during the calendar year for which reporting is required. As of 2019, Box 9 will also be checked for students enrolled in professional school.
Please review 2020 Instructions for Forms 1098-E and 1098-T for additional information.
(Prior to tax year 2018) Why is Box 1, payments, blank on my 1098-T?
Prior to tax year 2018, the IRS gave institutions the option to report either payments in box 1 OR amounts billed in Box 2. Ohio State chose to report amounts billed in Box 2.
To calculate payments made to Ohio State, prior to tax year 2018, see the official Statement of Account for the semesters within the appropriate tax year. Students can access their Statement of Account once signed into buckeyelink.osu.edu. Click the “Term” arrow to view previous semesters.
My payment was posted in the wrong year, can you move it?
Amounts reflected on Form 1098-T are based on the timestamp of when the financial transaction posted to the student account.
After December 31, we cannot retroactively alter the timestamp of payments or financial aid transactions that were posted in a previous calendar year. Any payment transactions that require reposting will be timestamped with the new calendar year and may be captured as a prior year adjusted amount on next year's Form 1098-T.
Where can I find the detail of how my payments were applied?
Log into My Buckeye Link and, in the Finances section, select Payments from the drop down menu. Once there:
- Enter the date parameters for January 1 to December 31 for the reported year. Click the Go button.
- In the Paid Amount column, click on the blue hyperlink to see what charges were paid.
Note: Only payments applying toward qualified tuition and related expenses are reflected in Box 1. As a reminder, tuition waivers are not payments. They are charge reductions.
I disagree with the amounts reflected on my 1098-T. Can I request a hand calculation for my 1098-T values?
No. Due sheer volume, we are unable to fulfill requests for personalized 1098-T calculations. Form 1098-T is used as a guide, but additional materials may assist in reviewing your eligibility for tax credits or tax deductions.
- Statement of Account - obtained from your My Buckeye Link; reflects charges and payments, as well as their post dates
- Cashed check images - obtained from your banking institution
- Online bank statements - obtained from your banking institution
These materials, along with the guidance of a tax preparer or the IRS, can assist in determining your eligibility. Additionally, please keep in mind that Ohio State cannot provide tax filing advice.
What are the instructions for Form 1098-T?
To help you figure your education credit, you should receive Form 1098- T.
Generally, an eligible educational institution must send Form 1098-T to each enrolled student postmarked by Jan. 31. The Ohio State University reports payments received in Box 1 that pay toward qualified tuition and related expenses.
Box 1 may not reflect the entire payment as noted on your bank statement. Payments (or payment portions) that apply toward housing, dining, health insurance, or other non-qualified expenses will not be reflected in Box 1.
For more information see IRS resources. In addition, your Form 1098-T should give you other information for that institution, such as adjustments made for prior years, scholarships or grants, reimbursements or refunds, and whether you were enrolled at least half-time or were a graduate student.
Did Ohio State send a copy of this form to the IRS?
Yes. Section 6050S of the Internal Revenue Code, as enacted by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, requires institutions to file information returns to assist taxpayers and the Internal Revenue Service in determining eligibility for the American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning education tax credits. The annual deadline to file the required tax information electronically is March 31, although data may be transmitted earlier.
What am I supposed to do with the 1098-T form?
Keep it for your personal records and share it with your tax preparer; Ohio State sends your 1098-T information to the IRS. The information contained in the 1098-T will help you to determine if you may claim various tax credits and/or deductions for qualified educational expenses. Please be aware that the 1098-T captures financial information on a calendar year basis (January 1 – December 31) and you will likely need your statements of account (also available from buckeyelink.osu.edu) and other personal receipts (eg. books & supplies) to calculate your tax credits and deductions
Which expenses qualify for the American Opportunity, or Lifetime Learning Credits?
The Ohio State University cannot legally provide tax advice. Please consult with a qualified tax preparer or the IRS if you have questions concerning how to use this form on your taxes. For more information see Additional Resources.
Who can claim an Education Credit?
You may be able to claim an education credit if you, your spouse, or a dependent you claim on your tax return was a student enrolled at or attending an eligible educational institution.
If a student is claimed as a dependent on another’s tax return, only the person who claims the student as a dependent can claim a credit for the student’s qualified education expenses.
If a student is not claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return, only the student can claim the credit.
If you claim an exemption on your tax return for an eligible student who is your dependent, treat any expenses paid (or deemed paid) by your dependent as if you had paid them. See additional restrictions for claiming the credit in the IRS instructions to Form 8863.
What resources does the IRS make available for the 1098-T?
Be sure you are looking at the correct tax year form/publication; the IRS updates forms as the tax season nears.
Buckeye Link can assist with the Statement of Account, financial aid, tuition payment options, registration challenges and more.
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