Late this week, the House GOP unveiled its much-anticipated tax reform bill. The bill makes a lot of reforms to the tax code for both individual and corporate taxpayers. There are some major changes proposed for student loan borrowers.
First, the bill eliminates the student loan interest deduction. Currently, individuals earning an income of up to $80,000 per year (or $160,000 for married couples filing jointly) can deduct up to $2,500 per year in interest paid on their student loans, although the benefit begins to get phased out once an individual hits $65,000 per year in income. There are over 44 million student loan borrowers in the United States, and an estimated 12 million of them claim this deduction.
Second, the bill eliminates a tax break for employers who agree to pay for a portion of an employee’s educational costs. The elimination of this tax break may reduce any incentive for companies to pay for their employees to go back to school for additional degrees or certifications, passing the costs on to individual students.
Third, the bill eliminates a tax deduction that certain individuals can get for tuition and educational-related fees.
Taken together, these changes may directly impact millions of student loan borrowers and their families. A vote on this bill may occur as early as this week. If you are concerned about these proposed changes, contact your elected officials. Find your congressperson, and call both of your senators.