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SHRM urges Congress to make employer-provided education assistance a permanent part of tax code
With a workplace education benefit used by almost one million people a year scheduled to end on Dec. 31, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is encouraging Congress to make the benefit permanently available to workers.
Section 127 of the U.S. tax code allows an employee to exclude from income up to $5,250 a year in employer-provided tuition assistance for undergraduate and graduate-level courses. The provision will expire with Bush-era tax cuts at the end of the year unless Congress takes action.
As a co-chair of the
Coalition to Preserve Employer Provided Education Assistance, SHRM has joined other groups in the education, employer and labor communities to urge lawmakers to make Section 127 permanent.
What’s at stake?
Background:The education-assistance provision was established in 1978 with the understanding it would be evaluated in five years. Since 1983, Section 127 has been extended by Congress eight times, most recently in 2001. SHRM endorses efforts by U.S. Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., and Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Texas, who have introduced the Employee Educational Assistance Act of 2010 (H.R. 5600) to make the provision permanent, and U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, who introduced a tax bill that would preserve important educational tax provisions (S. 2851).
“I’ve seen firsthand how this modest tax exemption opens doors to opportunity, expands careers, and lifts people from disappointment, despair and disillusionment. And Section 127 makes good business sense for employers. With better educated people in critical fields such as science, technology, engineering and math, we maintain our competitiveness in a global marketplace.” — Hank Jackson, interim president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management
For more information on Section 127, visit the
Coalition to Preserve Employer Provided Education Assistance.
For details on the impact of the provision, visit
“Who Benefits from Section 127?,” a study by SHRM and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and
SHRM’s Poll: Education Assistance Benefits.
MEDIA: For more information about employer-provided education assistance, contact Kate Kennedy at
1-703-535-6260 or Julie Malveaux at
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