The details of the final conference report of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act have been released as the House prepares for a vote as early as tomorrow (Tuesday, December 19). In all, private colleges and universities, and the students and families they serve, have survived many of the most harmful proposals.
This is due in large part to advocacy efforts by scores of individuals and groups. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), a member of the Tax Reform Conference Committee and an alumnus of Charleston Southern University, was instrumental in preserving many of the student and family benefits that were slated for elimination in the House version of the bill.
NAICU has provided a scorecard for the key higher education provisions that SCICU has been tracking.
Tax Cuts and Jobs Act 2017 Breakdown
STUDENT AND FAMILY BENEFITS
- Student Loan Interest Deduction
- American Opportunity Tax Credit
- Lifetime Learning Credit
- Graduate student tuition remission benefits (Internal Revenue Code Sec. 117(d)5)
- College employee tuition remission benefits (Internal Revenue Code Sec. 117(d))
- Employer-provided tuition assistance (Internal Revenue Code Sec. 127)
CHARITABLE GIVING AND INSTITUTIONAL BENEFITS
- Charitable deduction (Concern remains regarding overall effects of the rate reductions on charitable giving.)
- IRA Charitable Rollover
- Private Activity Bonds
- Bond Advance Refunding
- New Endowment Tax on certain private colleges and universities using the Senate formula of $500,000+ per FTE. However, the endowment tax rate was lowered from the original proposed rate of 2.0% to 1.4%.Through six rewrites from its original introduction in the House, the tax transitioned from affecting 250 private colleges to affecting approximately 32 private colleges (None affected in South Carolina.).
With no opportunity for amendments, it is expected that the House and Senate will complete their voting this week and that President Trump will sign the bill into law by Friday, December 22.
When Congress returns from Christmas recess, the higher education community will focus on the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.