Congressmen Mike Turner (OH-10) and Rodney Davis (IL-13) today won their fight to preserve education tax benefits in the final tax reform bill. Both the graduate tuition waiver (Section 117(d)) and employer tuition assistance benefits (Section 127) were maintained in the tax reform conference report released today. The House is expected to vote on the report next week.
“This tax package is an incredible step forward for our country to achieve economic growth,” said Congressman Turner. “Students pursuing a higher education are working to better themselves. More highly educated Americans means a better workforce, and a better workforce means a stronger economy. By including the provisions Rodney and I fought for, this tax package encourages people to pursue the American dream and helps grow the U.S.”
“No bill is perfect, but we fought to make it better and we did,” said Congressman Davis. “This is the legislative process at work. I appreciate Chairman Brady and my other colleagues for coming together to preserve these provisions that will help graduate assistants and mid-level university employees trying to send their kid to college. Maintaining the employer tuition assistance provision helps those looking to further their education, but I also hope that one day we can use it to help address the one trillion-dollar existing student debt crisis that is facing our county. The changes in this bill make it even stronger for the middle class and those living paycheck to paycheck. I’m looking forward to voting ‘yea’ next week to deliver the first real tax relief for hardworking Americans in more than three decades.”
“This is a historic moment for the American people,” said Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (TX-8). “Our legislation to finally reform America’s broken tax code will deliver more jobs, bigger paychecks, and fairer taxes to hardworking families and job creators throughout the country. I’m grateful to Congressmen Davis and Turner for their leadership on preserving graduate student tuition assistance and tuition waivers, and for their work in support of making pro-growth, pro-family tax reform a reality for the American people.”
Last week, Congressmen Turner and Davis sent a letter with 24 of their colleagues to Chairman Brady and Chairman Orrin Hatch (UT) of the Senate Committee on Finance to include two provisions in the final tax reform bill to help students pursuing a higher education. Both provisions ended up included in the final tax reform package. Congressmen Turner and Davis previously had a colloquy with Chairman Brady on the House floor about this issue.
The first provision the Congressmen secured in the final tax reform bill allows taxpayers to exclude qualified tuition reductions from income. If tuition reductions were not maintained, university employees and their spouses and dependents, as well as graduate students, would have faced an unnecessary burden in pursuing a higher education.
The second provision included due to the Congressmen’s work is business-provided incentives for employees seeking a higher education. Tax-free qualified educational assistance increases the quality of the American workforce.