We have received several inquiries about emails sent to students regarding their IRS 1098-T tax forms. Because some have expressed concern that the communication from the North Orange County Community College District was either spam or a phishing attempt, we want to clarify that emails on this topic from the address firstname.lastname@example.org are indeed valid.
The 1098-T is an IRS document to be included with tax returns, as we wrote about in this earlier post. The form is a tuition statement that may result in a tax deduction (more information on this below the NOCCCD email).
For those who are curious, the NOCCCD is the local governing body for Cypress College, Fullerton College, and the School of Continuing Education. The web address mg.nocccd.edu is the new location for myGateway — and a very good one to bookmark, FYI.
Here is the full email sent from the NOCCCD staff:
This message is for Cypress College and Fullerton College students who are scheduled to receive a 1098T form from us for tax year 2013. You are receiving this message from the North Orange County Community College District on behalf of our 2 colleges because your 1098T information will be sent to the IRS for tax year 2013.
The IRS is requiring us to ask that you make sure your legal name and Social Security Number are correct in our system. If you have not provided that information or have used a nickname when you registered with us, you can correct that information in person by going to the Admissions & Records office.
HERE’S SOME BACKGROUND INFO:
As a student at Cypress College or Fullerton College in 2013, the college is required to prepare and provide you a Form 1098-T, Tuition Statement, if you have had reportable activity, per the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The information on the 1098-T form is also required to be submitted by us to the IRS.
We will use the information in our system to prepare these forms. This information includes your name and social security number. The IRS requires that your legal name and social security number be used on these forms. If you have not provided the college with your legal name and social security number and if you receive a 1098-T form, you may be subject to fine by the IRS.
If you are an international student or have a non-resident alien status, you will not receive a 1098-T unless you request one. If you anticipate requesting a 1098-T, you must provide a valid social security number or an individual taxpayer identification number.
IF YOU NEED TO SUBMIT CORRECTED INFO:
If you need to provide or change the social security number or the legal name that is in our system, please complete and sign the IRS form W-9S (http://www.nocccd.edu/pdfs/W9S.pdf), Request for Student’s or Borrower’s Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification, and turn it in in person to the Admissions and Records Office on your college by 02/28/14. Please bring your social security card with you as well as a picture id.
If you were also a student in 2011 or 2012, you may have received a separate letter from us requesting this same information. You are only required to respond to our request once in a calendar year. Therefore, if you have already submitted this information this year, your information will be updated and you need not submit it again this calendar year.
STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?
A Question & Answer sheet that may address some common concerns about this process can be obtained in the following link (http://www.nocccd.edu/pdfs/QA1098T.pdf)
If you still have questions, please contact the Admissions and Records Offices at your campus.
— Cypress College Admissions and Records Office: Student Center Building, (714) 484-7346
— Fullerton College Admissions and Records Office: 2000 Building, (714) 992-7075
HERE’S THE LEGAL STUFF:
Under Internal Revenue Code Section 6722(a)(1), the College incurs a $100 penalty for each incorrect Form 1098-T. In order to have this penalty waived, we must request that you provide your legal name, exactly as printed on your Social Security Card, and your Social Security Number. You can be assured that we will only use this information to comply with the IRS rules and for no other purpose. In fact, we are prohibited by California law from providing your personal information except where required by Federal and California law.
Further, you are required to provide this information to us or you could be fined $50 by the IRS in accordance with Internal Revenue Code Section 6723.
Here is some information about the 1098-T directly from the IRS:
An eligible educational institution, such as a college or university in which you are enrolled, and an insurer who makes reimbursements or refunds of qualified tuition and related expenses to you must furnish this statement to you. You, or the person who can claim you as a dependent, may be able to claim an education credit on Form 1040 or 1040A, only for the qualified tuition and related expenses that were actually paid in 2014. To see if you qualify for the credit, and for help in calculating the amount of your credit, see Pub. 970, Tax Benefits for Education; Form 8863, Education Credits; and the Form 1040 or 1040A instructions.
You can read their full description and see a sample document at: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1098t.pdf.