Education Expenses

AN ANALYSIS OF THE TAX CUTS AND JOBS ACT

January 2018

 

AN ANALYSIS OF THE TAX CUTS AND JOBS ACT

On December 22, 2017, after much, well-publicized legislative skirmishes, President Donald Trump signed into law H.R. 1, otherwise known as the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.”   Provisions affecting individuals are generally effective beginning December 31, 2017 and expire on December 31, 2025.  Most business-related provisions are permanent and are effective beginning December 31, 2017.

This new law is, by all accounts, the most significant revisions to the U.S. tax code since 1986, affecting almost all individual and business taxpayers.   Our firm’s general assessment of the new law will therefore be a two-part series: this first part covers changes to individual taxpayers, and the second part will cover changes to business taxpayers.

Deducting Graduate School Expenses When You’re A Student

For full-time students attending graduate school, tuition and costs are exorbitantly high. It’s often difficult to maintain studies and still work to help defer some of the costs. For those who have not yet entered the professional workplace, is it possible to obtain any tax benefits for graduate school expenses? Is tuition for law or graduate school a deductible educational expense?

Deducting Graduate School Expenses When You’re Already Employed

Graduate students may deduct the costs of tuition and other fees under most circumstances. But what if an individual decides to go back to school after he or she has already entered the workforce, what, if any, tuition, costs, and fees are deductible?

Taxpayers may deduct the costs of qualifying work-related education as a business expense when the education leads to a degree, but only if at least one of the following two tests is met:

  • The education is required by an employer or by law to maintain present salary, status or employment. The required education must serve a bona fide business purpose of a taxpayer’s employer.

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