Instructions for Form 1098 - Introductory Material

Table of Contents

Future Developments

For the latest information about developments related to Form 1098 and its instructions, such as legislation enacted after they were published, go to


General Instructions.   In addition to these specific instructions, you should also use the 2015 General Instructions for Certain Information Returns. Those general instructions include information about the following topics.
  • Who must file (nominee/middleman).

  • When and where to file.

  • Electronic reporting requirements.

  • Corrected and void returns.

  • Statements to recipients.

  • Taxpayer identification numbers.

  • Backup withholding.

  • Penalties.

  • Other general topics.

  You can get the general instructions at or by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676).


IF an obligation is... THEN...
Incurred after 1987 It is a mortgage if real property that is located inside or outside the United States secures all or part of the obligation.1
Incurred after 1984 but before 1988 It is a mortgage only if secured primarily by real property.
In existence on December 31, 1984 It is not a mortgage if, at the time the obligation was incurred, the interest recipient reasonably classified the obligation as other than a mortgage, real property loan, real estate loan, or other similar type of obligation.2
1 This applies even though the interest recipient classifies the obligation as other than a mortgage, for example, as a commercial loan.
2 For example, if an obligation incurred in 1983 was secured by real property, but the interest recipient reasonably classified the obligation as a commercial loan because the proceeds were used to finance the borrower's business, the obligation is not considered a mortgage and reporting is not required. However, it is not reasonable to classify those obligations as other than mortgages for reporting purposes if over half the obligations in a class established by the interest recipient are primarily secured by real property.

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