NAICU Washington Update

NAICU Weighs in on House Tax Reform Efforts

April 19, 2013

The House Ways and Means Committee has been busy implementing a formal process for discussing the current tax code and considering ways to simplify and reform it. Part of the process includes the creation of 11 working groups to examine all of the various tax benefits currently in effect. The Education and Family Benefits working group is tasked with considering the higher education tax benefits, while the Charitable/Exempt Organizations working group is looking at the charitable tax benefits.

NAICU submitted a statement to the Education and Family Benefits working group that outlines our support for maintaining the three-tiered system of benefits that assists families who are saving for college, paying for college, or repaying student loans. The statement also acknowledges the need for consolidation and simplification of the credits and deductions available for tuition assistance, and suggests that having a permanent credit that is available beyond the first four years of college would negate the need for the Hope tax credit, the Lifetime Learning credit, and the tuition deduction. 

NAICU has also joined in three community statements. The first was submitted April 12 on behalf of 12 associations, including NAICU, to the Debt, Equity and Capital working group. It urges continuation of tax-exempt bond financing, including qualified 501(c)(3) private-activity bonds, which are important to many charitable organizations, including colleges and universities.

NAICU also signed onto April 15 comments filed with the Education and Family Benefits working group by the American Council on Education (ACE) in support of keeping the current framework of current tax benefits for higher education. That joint statement also advocates for the type of consolidation and simplification of deductions and credits that NAICU endorsed in its earlier, separate filing.

Finally, NAICU joined in a second statement filed by ACE on April 15 to the Charitable/Exempt Organizations working group. That statement advocates in favor of keeping incentives for charitable giving, including the IRA charitable rollover and the charitable deduction.

The Joint Committee on Taxation will review all submissions, which were due by April 15, and will compile a report for the full Ways and Means Committee. It is unclear how the committee or the working groups will proceed from there, but additional roundtable discussions or hearings are certainly possible. (See earlier story in Washington Update.) Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) has indicated he would like to introduce tax legislation by the end of the year, but no similar efforts are currently underway in the Senate Finance Committee or within the Obama administration.

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