This provision of the CARES Act went somewhat unheralded but it’s very favorable.
Specifically, if you receive educational assistance benefits (like cash) from your employer under an educational assistance program, you can exclude up to $5,250 of those benefits from income each year. This means your employer doesn’t include the benefits in your wages, tips, and other compensation shown in box 1 of your Form W-2.
AND the employer can deduct the assistance as a trade or business expense.
For more info, see Exclusion for Certain Employer Payments of Student Loans (sec. 2206 of the Act and secs. 127, 3121, 3306, and 3401 of the Code), page 26 of the Description of the Tax Provisions Of Public Law 116-136, The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act (JCX-12R-20, April 23, 2020. Download at https://www.jct.gov/publications.html
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𝐓𝐡𝐨𝐦𝐚𝐬 𝐉𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐬 𝐂𝐚𝐫𝐫𝐨𝐥𝐥, 𝐏.𝐂. 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐥𝐚𝐰 𝐟𝐢𝐫𝐦 𝐟𝐨𝐜𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐧 𝐟𝐞𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐥 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐭𝐚𝐱𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐯𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐬 𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐝𝐮𝐚𝐥𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐛𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐬 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐭𝐚𝐱 𝐡𝐞𝐥𝐩 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐬𝐨𝐥𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐨𝐝𝐚𝐲 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐨𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐫𝐨𝐰.
𝐎𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝟑𝟎 𝐘𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐄𝐱𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐈𝐑𝐒, 𝐍𝐘 & 𝐍𝐉 𝐓𝐚𝐱 𝐀𝐮𝐝𝐢𝐭𝐬, 𝐀𝐩𝐩𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐬 & 𝐓𝐚𝐱 𝐏𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠.