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:

  • Tuition
  • Fees and similar payments
  • Books
  • Supplies
  • Equipment

An educational assistance plan can also include employer-provided:

  • Instructional courses
  • Expenses like:
    • Books
    • Supplies
    • Equipment

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
  • Transportation
  • 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.

Related Topics

Related Resources

FAFSA Tax Return Requirements | H&R Block

Do you receive financial aid? Learn how the FAFSA uses your tax return with this checklist of commonly asked questions from the experts at H&R Block.

Taxes in the Gig Economy

The gig economy and taxes go hand-in-hand. If gig work is your primary form of income, review these important tax tips from our H&R Block tax professionals.

How Do I Become An Enrolled Agent?

Learn more about what an enrolled agent is and how to become one. H&R Block explains exactly what you need to do if you’re interested in the career path.

Dealing with life events, financial stress and planning | H&R Block

Many life events can introduce financial stress. Guest contributor Madeline Cronin discusses how to deal with financial planning through various life stages.