President Trump signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December. APTA members advocated to keep deductions and tax waivers related to education, and we were successful in our endeavor. The deduction for student loan interest stays. Earlier versions of tax reform had removed this popular deduction. After fierce opposition from higher education interests and advocates for professions, including APTA, the deduction was left untouched. Also, Graduate students who receive tuition reductions and waivers won't be taxed on the value of those programs. Earlier versions of the tax bill would've made tuition assistance and waivers taxable, thereby threatening the viability of many graduate teaching and research assistantships. Like the student loan interest provision, it remains unchanged from the current tax code, and will continue to be tax exempt.
Currently, APTA is advocating for some changes in regards to the PROSPER Act (H.R. 4508). One of the sections of the bill states that graduate students would receive a capped amount of $28,500 a year in tuition assistance from the Federal government and students would be capped at an aggregate total of $235,500. This bill would also eliminate the public service loan forgiveness program and revamp repayment options. There has not been a bill introduced in the Senate, and APTA has had meetings with Committee staffers and Members to rework these loan amounts or to get PTs included in the HEAL Fields (doctors, dentists, vets, etc.) so they are exempt from these limits. If you have a clinic or school in Virginia Foxx’s district (NC-5) or in Bob Scott’s district (VA-3), please contact Jennica Sims at firstname.lastname@example.org.