Student Financial Services

FAQ for 1098-T Student information Updates

Section 1

To prepare for 1098-T tax reporting, UCI Campus Billing and Collections issues two formal requests for student information updates annually.  For 2018 reporting, “UCI REQUEST FOR NAME AND TAX ID UPDATES” messages will be sent to your UCI e-mail address on Tuesday 10/16/2018 and Thursday 11/15/2018.

  • These official University communications inform you that student information updates are required by the IRS for filing federal tax information correctly.
  • To UPDATE means taking action to add or correct information on file with the University Registrar.  As the student, you must decide if taking action is necessary, according to your personal situation.
  • Follow the UPDATE instructions when needed.  You are requested to take action only if you have changes to your name and/or SSN/ITIN; otherwise no response is necessary.

Submit any 2018 updates to the University Registrar by Friday, December 7, 2018 (the last day of instruction for 2018 FALL Quarter).  Your 1098-T for tax year 2018 will be issued in mid-January 2019.

UCI cannot provide tax advice; therefore Campus Billing and Collections and tra@uci.edu may not provide a personalized response to your inquiry. Please read the following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) carefully before submitting a student information update.

Question: Is this formal request e-mail message a “scam”?
Answer: No.

The message is the IRS’ required reminder about your responsibility to keep the University’s records current for tax reporting purposes.  The sender tra@uci.edu is the e-mail address used by Campus Billing and Collections as a “help desk” for 1098-T questions.

Question: Is this e-mail message a “phishing” attempt?
Answer: No.

Note that the message advises you NOT to send personal information in reply.  Update your student information directly with the University Registrar.  If you are uncomfortable about clicking on a link, then type the web address into your browser, or search the relevant web site for yourself.

Question: How is a SSN/ITIN used in tax reporting?
Answer: For identification.

Your Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) identifies you on federal tax documents, including the 1098-T.  An ITIN is an alternative tax processing number issued by the IRS to a person who is not eligible for a SSN.

Question: If I am an international student, should I have a SSN/ITIN?
Answer: Consult with your tax advisor, or ask the IRS.

If you decide to apply for a US tax identification number, follow the instructions in IRS Form W-9S, under “How to get an SSN or ITIN.”  Refer to the IRS web site for more information about Taxpayer Identification Numbers.

Question: Is this student information update request something new?
Answer: No.

The IRS has required a SSN/ITIN for tax reporting since 1996; see “Do I Need One?” on the IRS’ Taxpayer Identification Numbers page.  UCI sends two comprehensive requests for updates to conform with best practices for 1098-T reporting.

Question: Why are you asking for student information updates now?
Answer: UCI is required to do so by the IRS.

The IRS requires UCI to report the correct name and SSN/ITIN information on 1098-T forms; otherwise penalties may be levied.  Since UCI’s information is only as good as what you provide, we are passing that reminder along to you, in advance of issuing the 1098-T tax forms.

Question: Don’t you have my student information already?
Answer: Probably, but we don’t have a way to validate your name and SSN/ITIN with the IRS.

Most students provide their name and SSN/ITIN when they apply to UC; however, the University has no way to check for errors or changes resulting from your life events.  You are the best person for keeping your student records up to date.

Question: Why would my name or SSN/ITIN in UCI’s records be erroneous or require a change?
Answer: A life event may necessitate an update.

For example, your name may change by marriage, or your SSN/ITIN may change with your immigration status.  An IRS audit may uncover a discrepancy between the information on your return and the name or SSN/ITIN you provided to UCI.

Question: How is this notice relevant to someone who has graduated or withdrawn from UCI?
Answer: You received the formal request because UCI is scheduled to issue a 1098-T to you for 2018.

UCI will issue a 1098-T for 2018 if you had at least one reportable transaction (such as a tuition payment) during the calendar year.  Even if you are no longer enrolled, you are responsible for keeping the University’s records current.

Question: How is this notice relevant to an international student?
Answer: You received the notice because UCI is scheduled to issue a 1098-T to you for tax year 2018.

UCI will issue a 1098-T for 2018 if you had at least one reportable transaction (such as a tuition payment) during the calendar year.  If you have obtained an SSN or ITIN, and that number is not on file with the University Registrar, then the notice is a reminder to update your student records.

Question: My parents do the taxes; why don’t you ask them for my student information?
Answer: As the student, you are the responsible individual.

UCI’s relationship is with you, the student.  Therefore UCI is required to issue the 1098-T to you — even if someone else claims you as a dependent.  You are the only person who can update your UCI student records.  You may share your 1098-T with relatives or tax preparers, as you see fit.

Question: Is this notice going to affect my financial aid?
Answer: The name and SSN/ITIN you supply to UCI may be used to verify your identity.

The University may use the student information on file with the Registrar to merge with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  If you have been informed about a name or SSN/ITIN problem by another office (such as Financial Aid), then follow up with that office as directed.

Question: How can I check on the student information currently on file at UCI?
Answer: The University Registrar is the office of record for student information.

Keep in mind that you are requested to UPDATE your student information as needed, NOT to confirm what you know is correct.

  • StudentAccess at the Registrar’s web site displays the last 4 digits only of any SSN/ITIN in your student records. If the last 4 digits displayed are -0000 (all zeroes), then you do not have a valid SSN/ITIN on file.
  • You may inspect your records in person by presenting picture identification at the Registrar’s office.  See the Registrar’s web site for hours and contact information.

Question: Is there any other resource with my name or SSN/ITIN on file?
Answer: If you received a 1098-T previously, then you have an account with TAB Service Company (TSC), UCI’s contracted 1098-T servicer.

You may choose to login with your SSN/ITIN at the TAB Service Company web site –www.tsc1098t.com (for login assistance call toll-free 1-888-220-2540). If you can login successfully, then you have an indication that the name and SSN/ITIN matched for your most recent 1098-T.

Only you can judge if your information has changed since the last time you received a 1098-T.  That is why the University has requested your cooperation with the formal requests for student information updates.