Nephew's wife registered for school in December 2019 -- BUT NO MONEY WAS PAID TO THE SCHOOL until January 2, 2020. When they received their 1908-T dated 2020 it was missing the money paid for the January-May 2020 semester. They NEVER received a 1098-T for 2019. SO, do we have to file an amended 2019 tax return to claim that even though the money was not paid to or received by the school until January 2020. The school is being a jerk about helping with this issue. I feel it should go on the 2020 tax return. But, looking at previous comments on this, I am assuming I will have to help him file an amended 2019 return. This is a substantial amount of money.
I sounds like the student was enrolled fulltime in 2020 and also paid the tuition in 2020. If so, then you would claim the education expenses in 2020. You would not have to do anything for 2019.
It would not matter what is on the form 1098-T, the overriding consideration is when the tuition was paid and when the courses were taken, which is in 2020 I believe.
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The 1098-T is only an informational document. The numbers on it are not required to be entered onto your tax return.
If you claim the tuition credit, you do need to report that you got one or that you qualify for an exception (the TurboTax interview will handle this)
You claim the tuition credit, or report scholarship income, based on your own financial records, not the 1098-T. In the 1098-T screen, click on the link "What if this is not what I paid the school" underneath box 1. You will then be able to enter the actual amounts paid.