Tax Deal to Exclude Two Controversial Higher Ed Provisions

Congressional leaders on Wednesday announced a tentative agreement on a final tax bill that would leave out some of the House's controversial higher education provisions.

Senate and House negotiators are meeting this week to discuss compromise tax reform legislation. According to the Wall Street Journal, conferees reached a deal that would exclude measures to treat graduate school tuition waivers as taxable income and repeal student loan interest deductions. Both provisions were included in House tax legislation passed last month but left out of a bill that narrowly cleared the Senate earlier this month.

The reports are welcome news for the higher education community, but the legislation still likely includes other concerning measures, including a tax on the investment income of a select group of colleges. The House-passed bill would tax institutions that enroll at least 500 students and have assets of $250,000 per full-time student, which would affect approximately 65 colleges. The final version of the Senate bill proposed narrowing the pool of institutions affected—to fewer than 30 colleges—by increasing the threshold to those that have assets of $500,000 per full-time student.

Congressional Republicans aim to push forward on a rapid timeline to pass and send to the president's desk this month final legislation to overhaul the nation's tax code.


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The Wall Street Journal