FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

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Tax Credits

General Questions

CURRENT STUDENTS:  Log into your Student Home Base in LionPATH, click on "My Finances", and select "Manage My Account/Make A Payment".

 

AUTHORIZED PAYERS:  Go to https://public.lionpath.psu.edu/ and select Authorized Payer Access.

 

Once logged in, the Form 1098-T is located in the “Tax Forms” section of the Student Account Dashboard, which contains your most recent form.  Select View or Save to see a printable version.

 

FORMER STUDENTS: you can access your Tax Form by logging to your student account in LionPATH with your PSU Access ID (i.e. "xyz123") and password.  Go to www.lionpath.psu.edu. If you do not remember your PSU Access ID or password, use the “Forgot my User ID”, or “Forgot my password” links. Once logged, click on "My Finances", and select "Manage My Account/Make A Payment". The 1098-T section is located on the “Tax Forms” section of the Student Account Dashboard.

Penn State is required by the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to report payments received for qualified tuition and related expenses for the tax year ending on December 31 of the preceding calendar year. The Form 1098-T is the tax document used to report these payments. Students who file income taxes in the United States can use the Form 1098-T as an informational tax document used to determine eligibility for income tax credits.  

 In previous years Penn State only issued Form 1098-T to international students who requested it. Starting with reporting year 2019, Penn State began issuing a Form 1098-T for all students, including international students who may or may not be eligible to receive an education tax benefit, or who may not file taxes in the United States. 
 
Penn State cannot determine which international students are residents for tax purposes and cannot provide personal tax advice to students. It is each student’s responsibility to determine if they should file taxes and/or if they are eligible for a tax credit. 

Per the Directorate of International Student & Scholar Advising (DISSA):  Each year in late February, DISSA sends information on access to tax software for international students in F or J status who are determined to be “non-residents for tax purposes.” In general, anyone entering the U.S. in F or J student status are exempt from the substantial presence test for 5 years, meaning they are non-residents for tax purposes in the first 5 years.  In the 6th year, students must determine their tax status by completing the substantial presence test.  For tax year 2020, you are a non-resident for tax purposes if you entered the United States in F or J student status on or after January 1, 2015; you are a ‘resident for tax purposes’ if you entered the U.S. on December 31, 2014, or earlier.

 For more information, please refer to the Internal Revenue Service’s website at: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/determining-alien-tax-status or consult your personal tax adviser. 

If you are a current student, the Form 1098-T will populate to your Student Account Dashboard. To view/print it, follow these steps: 

  1. Log in to your Student Home Base in LionPATH 
  2. Click on "My Finances" on top of the page 
  3. Select “Manage My Account/Make a Payment” to get to your Student Account Dashboard 
  4. Click on “Tax Forms” on the left side menu to view or download and save/print your most recent form.

Qualified payments for calculating tax credits/deductions include the following:

  • Personal earnings
  • Personal savings
  • Loans
  • Gifts
  • Inheritance

Ineligible payments for calculating tax credits/deductions:

  • Grants
  • Scholarships
  • Tax-free distributions from an Education IRA
  • Tax-free employer provided educational assistance
  • Other forms of financial aid (which you are not required to repay)

An eligible dependent is a person for whom you can claim a dependency exemption.

This generally includes your unmarried child who is under the age of 19 or who is a full-time student under the age of 24, if you supply more than half the child's support for the year.

The American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning tax credits result in a reduction of the annual federal income tax owed by the taxpayer(s) who claim the student as their dependent.

This tax credit may lead to a refund of previously paid federal income tax.

Please refer to https://www.irs.gov/individuals/qualified-ed-expenses. Penn State cannot provide individual tax advice, you should consult your tax advisor with any tax questions.

Not in all situations. The amount of the tax credit that you may claim will depend on your individual situation. The Internal Revenue Service provides instructions on the application of the 1098-T information and eligibility requirements for the tax credits.

Please consult your tax preparer/consultant to determine how the American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning tax credits and the Deduction for Educational Expenses may apply to you or affect you.

You may have received nontaxable grants or scholarships, tax-free distributions from an Education IRA, or tax-free employer provided educational assistance that may need to be deducted from qualified expenses to calculate the credit amount.

Generally, the credit/deduction is available only for payments of qualified tuition and related expenses that cover an academic period beginning in the same calendar year in which the payment was made. An exception, however, allows the taxpayer to claim a tax credit/deduction for payment of qualified tuition and related expenses made during the tax year for the academic period January, February, and March of the following year. Consult your tax preparer/consultant for tax return preparation advice.

Penn State's federal tax ID number is 24-6000376.