Providing your Social Security Number or Tax Identification Number
A Social Security Number is not required to submit an application. However, if you choose to not provide your Social Security Number (SSN) or Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) or if you do not have one, California Community Colleges are required to inform you of the federal laws for collecting and submitting your information to the IRS, and the penalties that may be levied against you for failing to provide a valid Social Security Number or Taxpayer Identification Number. These regulations include:
- The Social Security Number of Taxpayer Identification Number is required to claim tax credits for higher education costs known as the American Opportunity Tax Credit in accordance with the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997.
- Federal regulations require the California Community Colleges to provide specific information to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for the purpose of filing an information return (IRS Form 1098-T “Tuition Statement”) for each student in attendance, with a few exceptions. The specific information collected includes the student’s name, address, Social Security Number (SSN) or Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN/iTIN), and enrollment status, as well as the amount of tuition paid or billed, and scholarships received. (26 C.F.R. 1-60505-1 (b)(2)(ii).)
- Failure to provide a correct Social Security Number while claiming tax credits for specified education expenses may result in a penalty levied against the student by the IRS in the amount of $100 per year, until the missing or incorrect information is provided (26 C.F.R. 1-60505-1(e)(4)).