I graduated college in May 2015 after completing my spring semester. I later received the 1098-T from my school.

My school only listed my $200 lab fee for the spring semester because they technically billed me two months before the start of the semester in November 2014. However I actually paid the balance during the spring semester of 2015.

So my question is, can I still claim the educational expenses for my tuition for spring 2015, even if my school didn't list it on the 1098-T?


You're a cash basis taxpayer, so when you pay something is when you claim it - not when you're billed. So, yes, you should be able to claim this for 2015.

The IRS uses the language "paid" specifically in the Tuition and Fees Deduction explanation:

Generally, the deduction is allowed for qualified education expenses paid in 2015 in connection with enrollment at an institution of higher education during 2015 or for an academic period beginning in 2015 or in the first 3 months of 2016.

The school probably should have reported this 1098-T for 2015, but may have reported it in 2014 as it may not have known who had already paid by the time that form was prepared. Since students may pay and claim the deduction in 2014 for the 2015 spring semester, this may be simpler for the school.

You should make sure you did not take the deduction in 2014 (double check your return and see if it matches up).

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  • Good answer, but you might want to qualify that the OP can take a deduction in both years if they paid 2014 tuition in 2014 and 2015 tuition in 2015. Your last paragraph makes it sound like one or the other. – Andy Jan 26 '18 at 22:45

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