Tax reform and higher education

by University Communications,

Here are resources and information about how new legislation could impact Willamette and other colleges and universities.

Last week, the U.S. Senate passed a tax reform plan that followed similar legislation adopted by the House of Representatives in mid-November. The Senate version of the bill will now go to the House and, after review, edits and further negotiations, is anticipated to be passed into law sometime in the next few weeks.

Current versions of the plan have implications for colleges and universities, as well as students and families. The links below offer additional context and commentary about the legislation.

For students, both the House and Senate versions of the bill contain some changes in the way students and families can deduct loan interest or receive tax credits for educational expenses (with the Senate version keeping most credits in place). Graduate student income — in the form of stipends, research support and other payments — may become taxable under a new plan.

For higher education institutions, an updated tax code may add a tax on endowments, which particularly impact nonprofit organizations like Willamette that rely on endowed funds to partially cover financial aid, program support and other operational expenses. In addition, by increasing the level of standard deductions for taxpayers, charitable organizations (including colleges and universities) who rely on fundraising to support operations, anticipate a significant decline in giving that taxpayers traditionally used for itemized deductions.

As a revised version of the plan is developed, this page will be updated to include additional links and background information.

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