The 1098-T is a document furnished by your school to the student and the Internal Revenue Service to help determine a student's tuition deduction on his 1040 form. The deduction is based on the amount of Qualified Payments Received (payments and financial aid used to pay for tuition and eligible fees) which were applied in a given calendar year and which were not covered by financial aid grants.
For example, Joe Smith is billed $7,500 for tuition and fees; $500 of that amount are (aid-ineligible) fines for parking tickets, library books, and dorm damage. He received a $2,000 Pell Grant, a $500 Scholarship, and a $2500 Stafford Loan; the remaining $2500 he paid by personal check. His 1098-T would report:
- Box 1: Qualified Payments Received (check and financial aid applied to everything but the fines) of $7,000.
- Box 5: Grants (Pell and Scholarship) totaling $2,500.
The finer points of the IRS regulations for the 1098-T, to put it plainly, are rather imprecise. In order to program this report, we have to make certain assumptions based on the information you provide. For the most part, students will find themselves in a straightforward situation—e.g. she paid this amount, you charged qualified expenses of that amount, she borrowed this much, was granted that much, etc. And in those cases, you've nothing to worry about.
There are nonetheless situations where our assumptions might not perfectly suit the student—especially if the financial records you've entered in Populi are incomplete. We therefore strongly encourage you to review the 1098-Ts generated by Populi. To aid you in your review, we've provided a couple tools we'd like to call to your attention:
- You can click to review the individual charges, payments, offers, etc. that determine the values Populi enters in the appropriate boxes on the 1098-T.
- You can also adjust the values entered in an individual student's 1098-T in case they do not match the student's actual situation.
Who should get a 1098-T?
Populi generates 1098-Ts for all students enrolled in a given calendar year. However, if a student cannot claim a deduction for qualified payments, he can claim no tax benefit. Therefore, the IRS does not require a 1098-T from him.
A student may claim a deduction for qualified payments if he meets all of the following conditions:
- He is a U.S. citizen, Resident Alien, or has a Social Security Number:
- The Citizenship field on his profile is either blank or United States... OR
- His citizenship is set to another country but his Residency is set to Resident Alien... OR
- He has a Social Security Number. SSNs are given to citizens of the United States and those with a Green Card.
- You have received payments on his behalf for his qualified expenses in a given Calendar Year. Per the IRS: "Qualified tuition and related expenses are tuition, fees, and course materials required for a student to be enrolled at or attend an eligible educational institution." In Populi, qualified expenses include tuition and any fees marked report on 1098T.
- The amount he paid towards qualified expenses for the year exceed the amount of grants he received.
- He was enrolled in at least one course in that year in a program that grants academic credit.
Populi generates forms for all students by default. However, you can enable or disable 1098-Ts for a individual student on their Profile > Financial > Dashboard view.
Using the report
Each column of the report corresponds to one of the fields in the 1098-T form.
- Select a calendar year from the drop-down. You may view, release, and export the data for a given calendar year only after it has fully elapsed! If you'd like to look at the 1098-T report for 2019, you'll have to wait until January 1, 2020 to do so.
- Use the campus drop-down to show it for students attached to particular campuses.
- To appear on this report, a student must have been enrolled AND have a payment made to his account sometime in the calendar year. If you check Include all possible students, the report will also show students who were either only enrolled OR had a payment made to his account in the calendar year (such students display in half-tone text and you cannot release their forms).
- indicates that the student does not have a valid Social Security Number recorded in Populi (this includes those with nothing entered and those for whom a placeholder SSN has been entered—e.g. 123-45-6789). You can enter one on the student's Profile > Info view.
- lets you look at the calculated source data for a student's 1098-T. These are the charges, payments, offers, etc. that determine the values Populi enters in the appropriate box on the 1098-T.
- indicates that the values for this student have been adjusted (see below).
- lets you download a watermarked preview PDF of an unreleased form.
- lets you download a PDF of a released form.
Adjusting values for a student's 1098-T
The report automatically gathers the information required to be reported from your school's billing and financial aid records—provided it has been recorded in or imported into Populi. If the values shown for a particular student's form need to be adjusted (say, the record in Populi is incomplete), you can manually adjust those yourself. You cannot adjust values for a form that has already been released to the student; you must first hide/unrelease it (see Actions, below).
- Click next to the student whose values you wish to edit.
- Enter the adjusted value(s) as appropriate.
- Click Clear Adjustments to erase all adjusted values and go back to the Populi calculated values (this clears any previously-made adjustments as well).
- Click Save when you're finished.
After adjusting 1098-T values:
- The symbol will appear next to the adjusted record.
- You'll find a record of all adjustments recorded in the changelog.
Before releasing or exporting this data, please make sure you've read the most recent IRS 1098-T regulations (PDF link).
- Students flagged for not having an SSN can be released and exported. However, your school could incur fines for submitting such forms to the IRS.
- Students flagged for a placeholder SSN can only be included in the unofficial XLS export. Their 1098-T cannot otherwise be released or exported.
Release to Students
Before exporting PDF or electronic versions of a student's 1098-T (see below), you must first release the form to that student.
- Select Release.
- Enter your school's Employer Identification Number (EIN) and financial aid office's phone number.
- Check to verify your compliance with regulation section 1.6050S-1.
- Click Release to Students.
Now that you've released these forms to the students:
- Students can now download their Copy B form from their Profile > Financial > Dashboard view.
- You will no longer be able to modify the information on the form unless you Hide/Unrelease it.
- If the SSN on the released form is incorrect, please read this article.
You can Export 1098-T data in a few different formats. If there's a lot of data to crunch, the export may take a few minutes. Remember, you can only export 1098-Ts that have already been released to students!
- Click Export.
- Select the export format. Most of these require that you enter your school's Employer Identification Number and financial aid office's phone number. If you changed your school's reporting method this year, check the box to indicate so.
- XLS: creates a spreadsheet of the report that includes the students primary mailing and email addresses.
- IRS Copy: creates a single PDF of the data formatted to print on blank IRS forms. There are three forms per page.
- Student or College Copy: creates a single PDF of the 1098-Ts on the report that have been released to students. This option is exported on the standard IRS form. The Student option creates the Copy B form; the College option creates the Copy C form.
- IRS e-File: This exports a
.txtfile of all 1098-T's that have been released to students. You'll also enter your five-digit College TCC (Transmitter Control Code). This file can then be uploaded to the IRS' FIRE system. You can also check to generate a test file.