Higher Education Tax Benefits and Form 1098-T

Form 1098-T is a Tuition Statement. This form is mailed every January by U.S. colleges and universities to its students, to be used by the student, or the student's parents, for claiming an education tax credit on their federal income tax forms. You may receive form 1098-T from Binghamton University.

However, only those individuals who are residents for tax purposes can claim one of the three tax benefits available, known as the American Opportunity Credit, the Lifelong Learning Credit, and the Tuition and Fees Deduction. Eligibility for these three income tax benefits is explained in IRS publication 970 Tax Benefits for Education, which can be viewed and printed from the IRS web site, http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p970.pdf or ordered by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM. Please note that the on-line publication is an 87–page pdf file, and you will need Adobe Acrobat reader or some other pdf reader to download it.

International students who have been continuously in F-1 or J-1 status for five years or less (entered the U.S as F-1 or J-1 2009 or later) generally file income tax forms as non-residents. IRS publication 970 clearly states that non-residents are not eligible for any of the three education benefits. See pgs 11, 21 and 38 of the 2012 edition of the publication that is currently on-line.

Thus, only those international students who have been continuously in F-1 or J-1 status for MORE than five years (entered the U.S. as F-1 or J-1 in 2008 or earlier) and who generally file income tax forms as residents for tax purposes, may be eligible to claim these benefits, which are based on the information provided on Form 1098-T.

International Student and Scholar Services staff are neither qualified nor permitted to give individual tax advice. Tax assistance is available at:

Last Updated: 8/28/14