Tuition Assistance Programs
Some employers offer education or tuition-assistance programs. These can be a valuable fringe benefit. You can exclude up to $5,250 of this education assistance from your income.
Typically, these are payments by an employer for your education expenses. The expenses can include but:
- Fees and similar payments
An educational assistance plan can also include employer-provided:
- Instructional courses
- Expenses like:
Educational assistance doesn’t include providing or paying for these items:
- Tools or supplies — other than textbooks — that you can keep after completing a course
- Meals or lodging
- Courses or other education involving sports, games, or hobbies — unless the course either:
- Relates to the employer’s business
- Is required as part of a degree program
Your total education benefits might be more than $5,250. If so, the exclusion applies to the first $5,250 in benefits you receive during the year.
Some employees receive education benefits not covered by this provision. So, you might be able to exclude them as job-related educational expenses. To qualify, the course must:
- Benefit the employer
- Apply to your job
- Be an undergraduate, graduate, or continuing professional education course
To learn more, see Publication 970: Tax Benefits for Education at www.irs.gov.