Form 1098-T

The 1098-T is a tax form used to assist parents and students in filing for education tax benefits and tax credits such as the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit, Hope Scholarship Tax Credit, American Opportunity Tax Credit and the Above-the-Line Tax Deduction for Qualified Higher Education Expenses. For more information on these credits, see IRS Publication 970 or consult your personal tax advisor.

How do I obtain my 1098-T

Form 1098-T is available through Heartland ECSI in late January for the previous calendar year. Students will have an opportunity to sign up for electronic delivery of the form. Students who do not sign up for electronic delivery by the deadline provided will have their 1098-T mailed to local address on file at WMU by January 31. If no local address is available for a student, the 1098-T form is mailed to the permanent address. We encourage students to sign up for electronic delivery to promote sustainability and to allow students quicker access to their form.

Students may access their 1098-T form online by inputting their name, social security number (SSN) or international taxpayer identification number (ITIN) and local zip code as shown on their WMU account.

WHAT IF MY 1098-T IS not available ONLINE through Heartland ECSI

There are several reasons why form 1098-T may not be available online through Heartland ECSI.

If the University has not received your SSN or ITIN, or it students do not input the correct local zip code as shown on the student's WMU account as of January 18, 2019, online access will be denied. A paper copy of your form will be sent by mail to your local address of record. If there is no local address of record, the system will default to your permanent address on record. WMU does not release a 1098-T without a valid address for the student.

Students may add their SSN or ITIN by submitting Form W-9S to the registrar's office in person, or by mailing to: Registrar, Western Michigan University, 1903 W Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo, MI, 49008-5256. Form W-9S is available through the IRS in the forms section. Please allow 5 to 7 business days for the 1098-T to be input and released to ECSI.

Students can update address information in GoWMU. Contact Bronco Express at (269) 387-6000 after adding a valid address to our system to have the 1098-T released to Heartland ECSI.

Questions

Please direct questions regarding accessing a 1098-T form to Heartland ECSI at (866) 428-1098.

Direct all other 1098-T related questions to Bronco Express located in room G9 or the Bernhard Center or by calling (269) 387-6000.

Please note that tax law is extremely complex and constantly changing. Accordingly, we advise staff members not to give tax advice to students or parents. Instead, we advise you to seek professional assistance from their personal tax adviser.

Resident aliens, nonresident aliens and undocumented students

Resident aliens are taxed the same as U.S. citizens and qualify for the U.S. education tax credits.

Students classified as nonresident aliens in the Western Michigan University student records system will not be issued a 1098-T form, as they do not qualify for the U.S. education tax credits.

An undocumented student who qualifies as a resident alien is taxed the same as a U.S. citizen and is eligible to claim any allowable tuition credits or deductions.

Please read the 1098-T FAQs below for additional information on resident aliens, nonresident aliens and undocumented students.

Frequently asked questions

Last year the 1098-T included the details of payments and charges.  Why isn’t this detail provided on the 2020 Form 1098-T? 

WMU worked with an external consultant to prepare the Form 1098-T using our existing Banner software system.  We were not able to provide the detail on the 1098-T this year but hope to include it again next year.  For the current year, you will need to pull up your individual account information. 

Did WMU change the way the report qualified tuition in Box 1 and scholarships in Box 5?   

Yes, WMU worked with an external consultant to prepare the Form 1098-T using our existing software.  During this process, we noted that while WMU has been reporting third party payments and tuition remission in both Box 1 and Box 5 historically, the IRS has directed organizations not to report these amounts in either box.    

It is important to note that the presentation of these payments in Box 1 and Box 5 in the prior year did not impact the taxpayer since the amounts reported offset one another. 

Why are the amounts reported lower this year? 

Lower amounts from the prior year can be due to a number of reasons. Below are the two most common answers. 

  • The 1098-T is prepared on a cash basis as a result the amounts reported are based on when the payment was received. 
  • The payments received were from a third-party payor such as the VA or Governmental Agency.  Historically these payments have been reported in both Box 1 and Box 5.  See the answer to the previous question above for additional information. Because these amounts are included in both Box 1 and Box 5 the amounts offset one another. 

Why is there no checkmark in Box 8 (“part-time”)

Box 8 will not be checked if you did not complete six credit hours during an academic period and/or you were a graduate student.

Why can’t I find my Form 1098-T on Hartland’s website?

We may not have your Social Security/Tax Identification number.  Check with the Registrar’s office.   If WMU doesn’t have your correct information you will need to complete Form W-9s and deliver or mail the form to the Registrar’s office. 

Do international students receive this form?

Students classified as nonresident aliens in the Western Michigan University student records system will not be issued a 1098-T form, as they do not qualify for the U.S. education tax credits. Please contact the Internal Revenue Service or your personal tax preparer for assistance. If you are a resident alien, see the following question.

I am a resident alien, should I receive form 1098-T?

Yes. Resident aliens are taxed the same as U.S. citizens and qualify for the U.S. education tax credits. However, as our current system only tracks U.S. citizenship, we have no records to indicate this status. If you have resident alien status (see below FAQ), complete a Report of Resident Alien Status form, attach required documentation and deliver to Bronco Express or fax all to the Corporate Reporting and Taxation Department at (269) 387-4297.

How do I know if I am a resident alien?

You are a resident alien of the U.S. for tax purposes if you meet either the green card test or the substantial presence test for the calendar year being measured. See IRS Publication 519 for more information. A student in the U.S. on an F-1 or J-1 visa most likely meets the substantial presence test in the sixth year of presence. For more information, see Internal Revenue Service Publication 519 on the IRS website.

Undocumented students who pass the substantial presence test are taxed as resident aliens. Please note that you need to provide us with your International Taxpayer Identification Number in order to receive form 1098-T. Also, see the frequently asked questions for undocumented students below.

Undocumented students FAQ’s

Are the individual U.S. income tax credits and deductions for tuition available to undocumented students?

An undocumented student who qualifies as a resident alien is taxed the same as a U.S. citizen and is eligible to claim any allowable tuition credits or deductions.

How do I know if I meet the rules to qualify as a resident alien?

Under the tax laws of the U.S., a resident alien can be defined as:

  1. A green card holder.
  2. A person meeting the substantial presence test.

How do I pass the Substantial Presence Test?

  1. Current year days in the U.S. X 1 = ______ days.
  2. First preceding year days in the U.S. X 1/3 = ____ days.
  3. Second preceding year days in the U.S. X 1/6 = _____ days.
  4. Total days in the U.S. = _____days (add lines 1, 2 and 3).

If line 4 equals or exceeds 183 days and you have been in the U.S. at least 31 days in the current year, you have passed the substantial presence test.

May I file a U.S. tax return without a Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification number?

No. The IRS will reject any individual U.S. tax return filed without either a Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification number.

What is an individual taxpayer identification number, and how do I obtain one?

An individual taxpayer identification number is a taxpayer identification number assigned to nonresident aliens and others who do not qualify to obtain a Social Security number. It is used for U.S. tax purposes only. It is obtained by filing form W-7 with the Internal Revenue Service. Please note the instructions require certain attachments to be filed with form W-7, such as a certified copy of your foreign birth certificate and a photo ID. You can find form W-7 and instructions on the IRS website.

I am a resident alien and my 1098-T is not available through Heartland ECSI – why?

Our records contain information on whether or not a student is a U.S. citizen, but do not track whether you are a resident alien or nonresident alien. Accordingly, if Western Michigan University records indicate that you are not a U.S. citizen, or if you have not given us your Social Security or individual taxpayer identification number, a form 1098-T will not be automatically generated for you. If you are a resident alien with an individual taxpayer identification number, you need to complete a form W-9S stating your international tax identification number if you are filing for tuition tax credit and complete a Report of Resident Alien Status form so we identify you as a resident alien. These can be submitted to Bronco Express or faxed to the Corporate Reporting and Taxation Department at (269) 387-4297.

Students who are not filing for tuition tax credit or deduction on a U.S. individual income tax return do not need to complete the Form W-9S to provide an ITIN to the university.

Form W-7 and Form W-9S, and instructions are on the IRS website.