Income Tax Credit Form 1098T

Please contact the IRS directly or your tax advisor to determine if you qualify for an educational credit.


At the end of January, Saint Mary's College of California is required to provide students with IRS Form 1098T for the prior calendar year. This form is used by the taxpayer in the computation of any eligible tax credit related to the American Opportunity Credit (formerly Hope Credit) and Lifetime Learning Credit. The forms are mailed to U.S. citizens or permanent residents attending classes at SMC and for whom reportable transactions (qualified tuition and related expenses) are reported for calendar year 2017 (regardless of when it was paid). All forms are mailed to the student's address on file. An electronic form is available for review and printing through the student's GaelXpress account.

Please Note: This form is informational and serves to alert students that they MAY be eligible for federal income tax education credits. The 1098T is NOT meant to be an indicator of income.  It is not required to be submitted with your tax return.  Furthermore, receipt of the Federal 1098T form does NOT indicate eligibility for the tax credit. It contains information to assist the IRS and you in determining if you are eligible to claim education related tax credits such as the American Opportunity Credit and Lifetime Learning Tax Credit. Your personal financial records serve as official supporting documents for your federal income tax return.  The information on the Federal 1098T form is only provided to assist you.  Please consult with your tax preparer if you have additional questions regarding how the 1098T relates to your specific tax preparation.

For the tax year 2017, amounts have been reported in Box 2 (Amounts billed for qualified tuition and related expenses). Qualified tuition and related expenses do NOT include the cost of insurance, room and board, transportation/travel, and other miscellaneous fees. 

Box 5  will reflect scholarships or grants, if applicable. Box 5 will also include any payments from the Veteran's Administration (including Vocational Rehab, GoArmy, etc.) posted in calendar year 2017.  Amounts reported on the 1098T are based on the date the tuition and scholarship/grant were posted.  Box 4 and Box 6 will reflect any adjustments for a prior year related to tuition and scholarships/grants.

Why is Box 1 ‘Payments Received’ blank?
The 1098T does not reflect payments.  The Internal Revenue Service's tax regulation indicates that a college or university is required to either report the amount paid by a student in Box 1 OR the amount billed to a student in Box 2 on Form 1098T. Saint Mary's College of California has elected to report qualified tuition and related expenses less any related reductions in charges in Box 2.  Box 1 will be BLANK for tax year 2017. Beginning in 2018, SMC will report qualified tuition and fee payments on the 1098T up to the total amount billed in Box 1, however, for tax year 2017 it will remain BLANK.

Why is Box 2 blank?
If Box 2 on your 1098T reflect 0.00 or is blank, you did not have any qualified tuition or related expenses billed to your account between January 1 and December 31.  For example, if you are a Spring graduate but you registered for your courses during pre-registration in November or December, that semester’s tuition charges were on your previous year’s 1098T form or if you are a new winter or spring admit who registered in December but class enrollment does not begin until January or February, the box will be blank. You must physically be in attendance during the reported calendar year.

PLEASE NOTE: SMC employees are NOT professional tax advisors and CANNOT give tax advice. We are prohibited from providing legal, tax, or accounting advice and we are not responsible for any use you make of this information.

Please contact a personal tax advisor for assistance. You may also contact the IRS directly at or (800) 829-3676 / (800) 829-1040 and refer to IRS Publication 970 Tax Benefits for Higher Education.