Please be advised that the information provided in this web page is NOT tax advice. It is offered only as general information for SMC students and their families. Please consult a qualified tax expert for advice on computing, claiming, or determining qualification for any tax benefit mentioned in this web site.

What is a 1098-T anyway?

Form 1098-T: Tuition Payments Statement is the information that colleges and universities are required to issue for the purpose of determining a student's eligibility for the Hope educational tax credit and Lifetime Learning education tax credit.

PDF FileView the 1098-T form

Who gets a 1098-T Form?

Only students who have a Social Security Number (SSN) and also have any out of pocket payment for eligible fees will get a 1098-T form.

International (F1 Visa) students do not receive a 1098-T form.

What are eligible fees reported on the 1098-T form?

The eligible fees which will be reported to the IRS are:

  1. Enrollment Fee
  2. Non-Resident Tuition
  3. Non-Resident Surcharge
  4. Class Fee
  5. Refund Charge for Class Drops
  6. Material Fee
How can I get a copy of my 1098-T?

For the 2017 Tax year, SMC will provide 1098T's through Heartland ECSI. An email will be sent in January once the 1098T's are available.

Please visit Heartland ECSI to Search for Your Tax Document

Search for Santa Monica College in the School Name search bar. Highlight the school name and click on Submit. Enter your information in the secured page. Check your delivery status and click the (+) to view your Form 1098-T.

For years prior to 2017 Tax year, please go to Corsair Connect and select 1098T from the "SMC Quick Links" menu on the left.

Why didn't I receive a 1098-T from SMC?

If you did not have any out of pocket payment, like Cash, Checks, Credit Card payment, you will not get a 1098-T form.

Did you send a copy of this form to the IRS?

Yes. The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, requires institutions to file 1098-T information to assist taxpayers and the Internal Revenue Service in determining eligibility for the HOPE and Lifetime Learning education tax credits.

What am I supposed to do with the 1098-T form?

Keep it for your records. Since SMC sends your 1098-T information to the IRS, there is no need to attach a copy of the form to your tax return. The information contained in the 1098-T will help you to determine if you may claim the HOPE or the Lifetime Learning education tax credits.

The Social Security Number (SSN) on my form is incorrect. What should I do?

Reporting to the IRS depends primarily on your SSN, so it is very important for you to have the correct information on file with the College. Please go to the Admissions Office of SMC for any corrections to your SSN.

The name on my form is incorrect. What should I do?

Please go to the Admissions Office of SMC for any corrections to your name.

What does an amount in Box 1 mean?

Box 1 ("Payments received for qualified tuition and related expenses") of your 1098-T displays the net amount of payments received during the tax year (January - December) that were required as a condition of your enrollment and attendance. To "qualify," payments must relate to an academic period for which fees are due and payable during the tax year, and for which instruction begins no later than March of the following tax year. The amount is calculated by summing the "qualified" portions of registration and course materials fees, less any refunds or reductions of these fees due to enrollment changes.

Why are Boxes 2, 3, 9, and 10 blank?

These boxes are blank because the information is not applicable to SMC as the filer of your 1098-T.

What does an amount in Box 4 mean?

Box 4 ("Adjustments made for a prior year") shows any refunds during the current year for payments of "qualified tuition and related expenses" reported on a 1098-T for a prior tax year. For example, if you paid Winter or Spring 2017 registration fees when due in December 2016, "qualified tuition" for that semester would have been reported on your 1098-T for 2016. If you subsequently received a refund of Winter or Spring 2017 registration fees in January 2017, the amount refunded would be reported in Box 4 for tax year 2017. Refunds may be the result of changing from full-time to part-time study, nonresident to resident classification, or cancellation/withdrawal.

What does an amount in Box 5 mean?

Box 5 ("Scholarships or grants") shows the net amount of certain forms of educational assistance that were received or applied to your student account during the tax year (January - December), regardless of the semester for which the funds originally were intended.

Note that the amount in Box 5 may include fee payments, like awards, and other credits, as well as checks. Any subsequent adjustments or reductions to educational assistance that occurred in the same tax year are summed into the amount. The net amount is sent to the IRS.

What does an amount in Box 6 mean?

Box 6 ("Adjustments to Scholarships or grants for a prior year") shows an amount if "scholarships or grants" that were reported on a 1098-T for a prior year were subsequently adjusted or reduced in the current tax year.

What does the check mark in Box 7 mean?

Box 7, if checked, indicates that "payments received" in Box 1 include Pre-paid fees.

"Pre-paid" fees are those paid during the tax year for a semester beginning in the first 3 months of the following tax year. At SMC, Winter session or Spring semester registration fees fit into these categories, because fees are due and payable in December of one tax year for instruction beginning in January of the following tax year.

What does the check mark in Box 8 mean?

Box 8, if checked, indicates that you were considered to be "enrolled at least half-time" for one or more semester during the tax year. At SMC, "at least half-time" means that you were enrolled in 6 or more units for any Spring or Fall semester, or 3 or more units for any Winter or Summer sessions.

In order to claim the Hope Credit, a student must be enrolled at least half-time in a program that leads to a degree, certificate, or other recognized educational credential for at least one academic period beginning during the tax year. (See "Who is an Eligible Student" in Chapter 1 of IRS Publication 970)

Note that a check mark does not guarantee your ability to claim the Hope Credit, as additional eligibility requirements must be met. Please consult with a qualified tax expert on this subject.

I have other questions not addressed on this homepage, what should I do?

Please contact the Cashier's Office at the number printed on your 1098-T form and we will be happy to answer your questions about the data on the 1098-T form. However, no tax advices will be given at the Cashier's Office and it is the responsibility of the student to consult with a qualified tax adviser.

Please be advised that the information provided in this web page is NOT tax advice. It is offered only as general information for SMC students and their families. Please consult a qualified tax expert for advice on computing, claiming, or determining qualification for any tax benefit mentioned in this web site.