How to Deduct Student Loan Interest on your Taxes (1098-E)

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If you made federal student loan payments in 2020, you may be eligible to deduct a portion of the interest paid on your 2020 federal tax return. This is known as a student loan interest deduction. Below are some questions and answers to help you learn more about reporting student loan interest payments from IRS Form 1098-E on your 2020 taxes and potentially get this deduction.

This is an opportunity to make the money you’ve paid work for you.

What is IRS Form 1098-E?

IRS Form 1098-E is the Student Loan Interest Statement that your federal loan servicer will use to report student loan interest payments to both the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and to you.

Will I receive a 1098-E?

If you paid $600 or more in interest to a federal loan servicer during the tax year, you will receive at least one 1098-E.

The IRS only requires federal loan servicers to report payments on IRS Form 1098-E if the interest received from the borrower in the tax year was $600 or more, although some federal loan servicers still send 1098-E’s to borrowers who paid less than that.

If you paid less than $600 in interest to a federal loan servicer during the tax year and do not receive a 1098-E, you may contact your servicer for the exact amount of interest you paid during the year so you can then report that amount on your taxes.

How many 2020 1098-E’s should I expect to receive?

That depends on how much you paid in interest, how many federal loan servicers you had, and some other factors. Read through the scenarios below to find where you fit and learn how many 2020 1098-E’s you should expect.

  1. Your current servicer was your only servicer in 2020:
    In this case, your current federal loan servicer will provide you with a copy of your 1098-E if you paid interest of $600 or more in 2020. Your servicer may send your 1098-E to you electronically or via U.S. mail.
  2. You had multiple servicers in 2020:
    In this case, each of your federal loan servicers will provide you with a copy of your 1098-E if you paid interest of $600 or more to that individual servicer in 2020. Your servicer may send your 1098-E to you electronically or via U.S. mail.

If you paid less than $600 in interest to any of your federal loan servicers, you can contact each servicer as necessary to find out the exact amount of interest you paid during the year.

How will reporting my student loan interest payments on my 2020 taxes benefit me?

Reporting the amount of student loan interest you paid in 2020 on your federal tax return may count as a deduction. A deduction reduces the amount of your income that is subject to tax, which may benefit you by reducing the amount of tax you may have to pay.

For more information about student loan interest deduction, visit the IRS’s Tax Benefits for Education: Information Center.

What if I still need help or have more questions?

While we are not tax advisors and cannot advise you on your federal tax return questions, your federal loan servicer is available to assist you with any questions about your student loans, including questions about IRS Form 1098-E and reporting the student loan interest you’ve paid on your 2020 taxes.