New report says tuition tax breaks helping wealthier families

Education Sector reports today that federal higher-education tuition-tax breaks are increasingly benefiting wealthier families.

The tax breaks, and other aid that goes to students who do not meet the federal definition of financial need, were the subject of this story by The Hechinger Report, which appeared on the front page of USA Today last November.

Education Sector said that before 2001, nearly 83 percent of higher-education tax benefits went to families making less than $75,000. Today, nearly a quarter of the tax benefits go to families earning between $100,000 and $180,000.

The share of the tax credit enjoyed by middle-income families, meanwhile, has sharply declined.

Education Sector analyst Stephen Burd said the tax breaks should be eliminated.

“Providing billions of dollars in tax benefits to upper-middle income families who would send their children to college without the help is a luxury that the government can no longer afford,” Burd said.

The report cites U.S. Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that the government will have spent about $55 billion on tuition tax-break programs between 2010 and 2014.

POSTED BY ON April 19, 2012