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Tax Breaks for Donations to Colleges in Jeopardy, Elder Law Attorney, Woodstock, GA


Many are concerned that the costs of going to college are too high for the average American family. A new proposal would make some colleges bring down costs by going after their donations.

One of the issues during the 2016 Presidential campaign was the high cost of getting a college education and paying off student loan debt. The various candidates made many different proposals ranging between making all public colleges free to changing how student loans are paid off.

The winner of the election, Donald Trump, did not make a specific proposal on how to make college more affordable, but he did propose changes to the student loan program.

He might have a cost proposal on his desk before long, according to Private Wealth in “Rich College Donors’ Tax Break Suddenly in Danger

One of the issues with the cost of college is that some of the most expensive schools are also the wealthiest since they have large endowments. Some reform advocates have suggested that the schools should use their endowments to defray more tuition costs for middle-class students.

Republicans in Congress will soon vote on a proposal to do just that.

The idea from Tom Reed, a congressional Republican, is that 25% of any donations to a school with an endowment over $1 billion must go to financial aid or the donor will not receive a tax deduction for the gift.

President-elect Trump has not endorsed this proposal, but Tom Reed is the vice-chair of Trump’s transition team. If this passes, then wealthy donors will need to revisit their estate plans and any planned gifts to universities.

Reference: Private Wealth (January 5, 2017) “Rich College Donors’ Tax Break Suddenly in Danger

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