THE PRESIDENT'S HOPE SCHOLARSHIP AND TUITION TAX CREDIT
From the beginning, promoting expanded educational opportunity has been the centerpiece ofPresident Clinton's budget and his middle class tax cut proposal. Promoting education is the centerpiece of this final tax cut bill:
$1,500 HOPE Scholarship to make the first two years of college universally available. The final agreement includes the President's program to advance the goal of making the 13th and 14th grades as universally available as a high school diploma is today. Students will receive a scholarship of 100% on the first $1,000 of tuition and fees and 50% on the second $1,000. A SUMMARY OF ADDITIONAL EDUCATION TAX CUTS
20% Tuition Tax Credit for College Juniors, Seniors, Graduate Students and working Americans pursuing lifelong learning to upgrade their skills. The 20% credit will be applied to the first $5,000 of tuition and fees through 2002, and to the first $10,000 thereafter.. The President has long understood that the economy is changing and that people must have the opportunity to enhance their skills throughout their working lives. This is why the President insisted on the 20% tuition tax credit that is in the final bill and is a major improvement over the Congressionally-passed bills.
Education and Retirement Savings Accounts. Allows penalty-free IRA withdrawals for undergraduate, post-secondary vocational, and graduate education expenses. Additionally, taxpayers are given the opportunity to deposit $500 into an education IRA. Earnings would accumulate tax-free and no taxes will be due upon withdrawal for an approved purpose.
Employer-Provided Education Benefits. Extends Section 127 of the tax code for three years, which allows workers to exclude $5,250 of employer-provided undergraduate education benefits from their taxable income.
Student Loan Interest Deduction. Allows a deduction for up to $2,500 per year of interest on education loans for expenses of students enrolled at an institution of higher education. This deduction will be available even if the taxpayer does not itemize deductions.
Community Service Loan Forgiveness. In most circumstances, a loan that is forgiven is considered income and is therefore taxable. To encourage programs that offer loan forgiveness to borrowers who take lower-paying, community-service jobs, the agreement excludes from taxable income both loan amounts forgiven through programs run by nonprofit tax-exempt charitable or educational institutions. Currently, the exclusion generally covers only certain forgiveness arrangements between students and government entities.
Repeal Cap on Tax Exempt Bond Issuance by Colleges and Universities. Repeals the $150 million bond cap that affects private higher education institutions and certain other charitable institutions. The repeal applies to tax-exempt bonds issued by these institutions to finance new capital expenditures.