Tax Alerts

Tuition Debt Relief Will Not Be Taxable Income

The recently announced tuition debt relief program will not add to the tax burden of individuals who are able to take advantage of the program, the White House said.

“Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, this debt relief will not be treated as taxable income for the federal income tax purposes,” the White House stated in an August 24, 2022, fact sheet describing the latest tuition debt relief program.

According to the fact sheet, the new program will provide up $20,000 in debt cancellation to Pell Grant recipients with loans held by the Department of Education and up to $10,000 in debt cancellation to non-Pell Grant recipients. The program is open to borrowers with individual incomes of up to $125,000 or up to $250,000 for married couples.

“No high-income individual or high-income household – in the top 5 percent of incomes – will benefit from this action,” the fact sheet states.

Federal student loan payments will continue to be paused through the end of 2022.

The American Rescue Plan, signed into law in March 2021, allows an individual to exclude from gross income the amount of qualified student loans cancelled or discharged from 2021 through 2025. Qualified student loans include loans for post-secondary education provided by the government or educational institutions; private education loans, and original and refinanced loans from tax-exempt organizations with a public service requirement; and refinanced loans. The exclusion does not apply to private education loans from tax-exempt organizations if the discharge is on account of services provided to the lending organization.

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