Legislative Tracker: Tax Issues

Legislative Tracker LogoOn this page, you'll find proposals that modify the existing tax code in areas relating to student financial aid.

For tax proposals from the previous session of Congress, visit the Legislative Tracker Archive: Tax Issues

*NEW* Fair Treatment of Scholarships and Pell Grants Act
HR 1764 Sponsor:
Rep. Messer (R-IN)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
3/28/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This measure would exempt scholarships, fellowships, and grants that cover room and board costs and certain research expenses from the calculation of gross income for income tax purposes.
       
*NEW* HELP for Students and Parents Act
HR 1656 Sponsor:
Rep. Meehan (R-PA)
Co-Sponsors:
6 (3 R; 3 D)
Introduced:
3/21/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This measure would provide incentives for employers to establish student loan repayment programs and to make contributions to qualified tuition programs on behalf of children of employees. The bill would make employer contributions to an employee’s student debt repayment and/or to a 529 plan excludable from gross income. Employers would earn a tax credit based on the amount contributed to student debt repayment and/or 529 plans.
       
Stop Taxing Death and Disability Act
S. 405 Sponsor:
Sen. Coons (D-DE)
Co-Sponsors:
13 (5 R; 7 D; 1 I)
Introduced:
2/16/2017
*NEW*
 HR 1659
Sponsor:
Rep. Roskum (R-MI)
Co-Sponsors:
8 (3 R; 5 D)
Introduced:
3/21/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would exclude loan forgiveness from death or disability, including the Total and Permanent Disability loan discharge (TPD), from the calculation of gross income for income tax purposes.
       
Student Loan Fairness Act 
HR 1127 Sponsor:
Rep. Bass (D-CA)
Co-Sponsors:
2 (0 R; 2 D)
Introduced:
2/16/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill excludes loan forgiveness under income-driven repayment plans from gross income for the purposes of income tax. The comprehensive bill would also create the “10/10 Loan Repayment Plan” that allows borrowers to pay 10 percent of their annual discretionary income and forgives the remaining loan balance after ten years of payment. The bill caps new direct loan interest rates at 3.4 percent and significantly modifies Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) by reducing the required number of qualifying payments from 120 to 60 and including physicians in "Medically Underserved Areas." The bill also allows certain borrowers with private education loans to consolidate them into a direct consolidation loan. 
       
Employer Participation in Student Loan Assistance/Repayment Act
HR 795 Sponsor:
Rep. Davis (R-IL)
Co-Sponsors:
29 (11 R; 18 D)
Introduced:
2/1/2017
*NEW*
S. 796
Sponsor:
Sen. Warner (D-VA)
Co-Sponsors:
1 (1 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
3/30/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This measure allows employers to contribute pre-tax earnings to help subsidize student loan payments for their employees, up to $5,250 per year per employee.
       
Student Loan Repayment Act
HR 615 Sponsor:
Rep. Ross (R-FL)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
1/23/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This measure would include "qualified student loan repayers" among those eligible under the Work Opportunity Tax Credit for employers. The bill allows for a $1,500 tax credit to employers to implement a repayment match program with a minimum qualifying match contribution of $2,000 per year by employees. Repayment assistance would be considered income and thereby subject to income tax. The bill defines a "qualified student loan repayer" as a borrower with at least an associate’s degree and outstanding debt of at least $10,000.
 
529 and ABLE Account Improvement Act
HR 529 Sponsor:
Rep. Jenkins (R-KS)
Co-Sponsors:
1 (0 R; 1 D)
Introduced:
1/13/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: The bill proposes tax code changes related to 529 and ABLE plans. Among the changes are tax incentives for employers to contribute to 529 and ABLE accounts and removing penalties for using 529 funds to pay student loans.
 
Student Loan Opportunity Act
HR 480 Sponsor:
Rep. Flores (R-TX)
Co-Sponsors:
0 (0 R; 0 D)
Introduced:
1/12/2017
NASFAA Analysis & Coverage: This bill would allow qualified scholarship funding corporations to use tax-exempt bonds to finance private student loan programs. Currently, qualified scholarship funding corporations, as defined in IRS Code, are ineligible to issue tax-exempt bonds.

 

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Publication Date: 4/4/2017


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