Followup Guidance regarding IRS Form 1098-T and U.S. Social Security Number

January 10, 2017

We are reaching out to all international students who received an email from MIT Student Financial Services on December 28, 2016 regarding the reporting of Form 1098-T Tuition Statement and need for the U.S. Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). A copy of the MIT SFS email is provided below (not everyone received this email).

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December 28, 2016 

Dear Student, 

Currently you have not provided the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a United States Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). An SSN or ITIN is used when MIT reports the Form 1098-T Tuition Statement information to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for educational tax credits as outlined in federal regulation §1.6050S-1. Additional information on education tax credits is available in IRS Pub. 970, Tax Benefits for Higher Education.

The IRS requires MIT to report 1098-T data with or without SSN/ITIN information. If you fail to furnish your SSN or ITIN to MIT the IRS may impose a penalty of $50 unless your failure is due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect. 

If MIT discloses or uses your SSN in violation of Federal Law, MIT may be subject to civil and criminal penalties.

To update your information, student access WebSIS (student.mit.edu) and follow the links: For Students/Personal Records/ Biographic and Emergency Records.

Please note: · All updates must be made online through WebSIS; do not email this information to anyone! · You or your parent may be claiming these educational tax credits or deductions on your income tax return and will want this information provided to the IRS.

If you have any question regarding this request, please contact us sfs@mit.edu.

~MIT Student Financial Services

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To help eliminate some confusion that MIT students may have, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is aware that international students in F or J visa status are only eligible for an SSN if they are authorized for, and currently pursuing, eligible employment in the U.S. For that reason, many students will have a Form 1098-T issued by MIT to report tuition received for that student to MIT who will not have an SSN at the time that MIT submits the Form 1098-T statements to the IRS.

For those students who received the MIT SFS email, and you have already received your SSN, please login to WebSIS (student.mit.edu) and follow the links: For Students/Personal Records/Biographic and Emergency Records to update your SSN to your student record.

For those students who received the MIT SFS email, and you do NOT have an SSN or ITIN, please do not worry as SFS can report the required tuition information without the SSN or ITIN.

All individuals in the U.S., including international students, will file an individual income tax return each year (these are completed in March/April, and the ISO will be providing more information on filing an income tax return soon). For international students who will not have an SSN at the time of filing the income tax return, there will be guidance provided to those students to apply for the U.S. Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), which will be submitted with the income tax return.

We provide this information to help put students at ease that they will likely not face any penalty from the IRS given the limitations of when an international student will be able to obtain an SSN or ITIN.

We hope this information is helpful. If any questions arise, please feel free to contact MIT Student Financial Services (sfs@mit.edu).

Best regards, 
David C. Elwell, Associate Dean and Director, MIT International Students Office (ISO) 
Michelle Pezzulli, Associate Director of Customer Service, MIT Student Financial Services (SFS)