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fedcl234
New Member

How do I find the filers federal id number for a foreign university?

I did not receive a 1098T form.
12 Replies
LinaJ2018
Intuit Alumni

How do I find the filers federal id number for a foreign university?

You may have to contact the school to obtain the information. You can claim Education Expenses without a Federal ID number only for the Lifetime Learning Credit (max $2000).  To claim the American Opportunity Credit (max $2500), you must have a valid federal ID.

To enter a tuition amount without a Form 1098-T, here are the steps:

In TurboTax online edition,

1. After sign into your account and select Take me to my return 

2.  At the right upper corner, in the search box, type in 1098t and Enter 

3.  Select Jump to form 1098T 

4.  On screen, "Do you want to enter your higher education expenses?" answer Yes

5.  Go through the step-by-step interview questions

6.  On screen, "Did you get a 1098-T from school for 2017?" answer No, 

7.  Next screen, select I qualify for an exception to continue to enter information

Please see attached screenshots

dburnt
Level 1

How do I find the filers federal id number for a foreign university?

This is not helpful, as foreign universities do NOT have any US tax identifiers.  Contacting the school nets me nothing.

ErnieS0
Expert Alumni

How do I find the filers federal id number for a foreign university?

Tuition paid to foreign schools may not be eligible for the education credits. If you called your school and they are unaware, then your tuition is problem ineligible.

 

The IRS defines eligible educational institutions for the education credit to be one that is eligible to participate in a student aid program administered by the U.S. Department of Education.

 

An eligible educational institution includes certain educational institutions located outside the United States that are eligible to participate in a student aid program administered by the U.S. Department of Education.

 

Related Resource:

SteveMN
New Member

How do I find the filers federal id number for a foreign university?

I am not sure that there is a direct correlation between a foreign university being approved to participate in the U.S. federal student aid program  and the school having a U.S. Federal ID Number/FEIN for me to report education expenses.  My daughter attends Aberystwyth University in Wales, UK.  They are on the list for FAFSA/Student Loans, etc.,  are approved for U.S. student aid, and appear wherever those lists are found along with their school code used for those purposes.  I contacted them and they said they do not have a U.S. Federal ID Number and/or FEIN, but can provide a letter documenting education expenses that they say U.S. filers have successfully used in the past for tax deduction purposes.  Unfortunately, Turbo Tax requires the Federal ID Number in order to apply the deduction, does not allow me to override that requirement, and has no capacity to include a letter from the University.  If what Aberystwyth says is correct, then this is a flaw in Turbo Tax.

tbrown21
Level 3

How do I find the filers federal id number for a foreign university?

Hi Steve, in past years you could enter 99-9999999 in TT for EIN, don't know about TT 2020

Opus 17
Level 15

How do I find the filers federal id number for a foreign university?


@SteveMN wrote:

I am not sure that there is a direct correlation between a foreign university being approved to participate in the U.S. federal student aid program  and the school having a U.S. Federal ID Number/FEIN for me to report education expenses.  My daughter attends Aberystwyth University in Wales, UK.  They are on the list for FAFSA/Student Loans, etc.,  are approved for U.S. student aid, and appear wherever those lists are found along with their school code used for those purposes.  I contacted them and they said they do not have a U.S. Federal ID Number and/or FEIN, but can provide a letter documenting education expenses that they say U.S. filers have successfully used in the past for tax deduction purposes.  Unfortunately, Turbo Tax requires the Federal ID Number in order to apply the deduction, does not allow me to override that requirement, and has no capacity to include a letter from the University.  If what Aberystwyth says is correct, then this is a flaw in Turbo Tax.


Starting with the 2016 tax year, the student MUST be issued a 1098-T in order for the student or their parents to claim a tuition tax benefit.  See questions 18 and 19 here,

https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/individuals/education-credits-questions-and-answers

 

Also see the first page of publication 970.

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-prior/p970--2020.pdf

 

The IRS instructions also say that an EIN is required.  For these reasons, you can't claim the credits in Turbotax without an EIN and without a 1098-T.  It's not a flaw, it's a design requirement that the program must meet IRS requirements to be allowed to connect to the IRS e-filing system.

 

You may be able to override these requirements if you use the desktop version of Turbotax installed on your own computer.  Tax returns with overrides can't be e-filed, they must be printed and mailed, and you can expect the IRS to ask for more documentation regarding your claim of an education tax credit.  However, if the school simply can't be bothered with getting an EIN or issuing the 1098-T, your claim for tax credits will probably be denied.   

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
tbrown21
Level 3

How do I find the filers federal id number for a foreign university?

@Opus 17 An EIN is required for the AOTC, but not for the lifetime learning credit. See link:

 https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/25A.

If you read then you will see the EIN is only required for AOTC.  Also you do not need a 1098T if your school is not required to send you one. From pub 970 page 22 "However, you may claim the credit if the student
doesn't receive a Form 1098-T because the student's educational institution isn't required to furnish a Form 1098-T "

Opus 17
Level 15

How do I find the filers federal id number for a foreign university?

@tbrown21 

There are only a limited number of reasons why a school would not be required under the regulations to issue a 1098, and this taxpayer’s situation does not meet any of those exceptions.

 

Also, look at section (g)(8), “payee statement required.“  The 1098-T is the payee statement.  Even though a federal EIN is only required for the American opportunity credit, a 1098 is required for both the American opportunity and lifetime learning credit.

 

And in any case, I believe that if the taxpayer goes so far as to check the box for “the school is not required to issue a 1098“ and enters the tuition paid without an EIN, TurboTax will still not accept the entry. This is likely a requirement imposed by the IRS e-filing system, that requires all tax providers to follow certain compliance guidelines in order to connect to the system.  I suggested that the taxpayer can use an override and file by mail, but I think their credit will ultimately be denied for the reasons I indicated.

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
tbrown21
Level 3

How do I find the filers federal id number for a foreign university?

@Opus 17  It is only a TT limitation. In my office I have had my clients receive the Life Time Credit without 1098T or EIN, because they attended a foreign school that was on the IRS list of eligible educational institutions. Also the foreign schools that I have worked with will send students a form with same info as 1098T if asked. Foreign schools are not required to send 1098T's, but the students are still entitled to receive education credits

toecatJE
New Member

How do I find the filers federal id number for a foreign university?

I agree. My son attends the University of Chester in England and they do not have an EIN number (I asked) but are approved for financial aid/FAFSA . The US government gives us large student loans for attending there. I would like to use the American Opportunity Credit to take a tiny slice off the massive tuition fees (which are as much as my annual income). This problem needs to be addressed by the IRS.  And again, Turbo Tax does not allow any exception on the EIN issue. This is the reason I am forced to file on paper still.

kylie brady
New Member

How do I find the filers federal id number for a foreign university?

I'm a U.S. citizen currently enrolled at a school called LAMDA, they didn't provide me with a 1098t nor can I find their 'federal filer ID number.' TurboTax won't let me file without the 1098t or the 'filers federal ID number,' and the tuition was massively expensive. I am really trying to claim something to get a break. Do you have any advice/help on how to file? Massive thank you

Opus 17
Level 15

How do I find the filers federal id number for a foreign university?

@kylie brady 

This is a tricky situation overall. New IRS regulations say that no college tax breaks can be awarded unless the college issues a 1098-T. There is an exception in the law for certain cases in which colleges are not required to issue the form, but in my reading of this law, simply being a foreign school is not one of the allowable exceptions.

 

Other experts on this forum have indicated that the IRS will still award to credit for attending a foreign school if there is no 1098T, but the e-filing rules require it. So the only way to claim a college credit without a 1098T is to print your return and file by mail.  You might want to attach a brief letter of explanation that the school is accredited under the US Department of education.

*Answers are correct to the best of my ability at the time of posting but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
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