Give College Students a Break!

Posted on 07. Oct, 2005 by in News, Taxes

Senator Charles Schumer of New York has made two propositions that would help ease the tax burden of America’s youngest minds. He has proposed making up to $1,000 of textbook costs deductible – citing studies by the GAO stating that students spend up to $900 each year on textbooks – totalling 26% of the total cost of a four-year degree.

Currently, textbooks are not part of the IRS’s tax benefits for higher education. While tuition and applicable fees constitute an education credit, textbooks and other living expenses – often the most expensive part of college – do not qualify for any educational credit. The proposed tax deducation would possibly help alieviate the greatest expense after tuition – making students and their parents very happy.

In line with his textbook proposition, Senator Schumer is also proposing a national textbook rental program – such as the one used by the University of Wisconsin. Although cheaper for the students, it appears as though this ambitious program might end up costing more money to start up than it’s worth. Details into the investigation of the cost and benefits of such a program have yet to surface – but you can be sure that other universities will be looking at textbook rental as a possible solution to the continuing slowdown of traditional textbook purchases at universities – in favor of cheaper online purchases.

One final piece of interesting information from the GAO report is that one in four taxpayers who were eligible for a tuition tax deduction or a tax credit did not make those choices. What’s even worse is that CPAs are making this mistake – costing students up to $500.

“But as a relatively new option, the number of tax filers using these tax deductions or credits has grown quickly. About half of the tax returns where tuition deductions or credits were not used were prepared by paid tax professionals.”

2 Responses to “Give College Students a Break!”

  1. Chelsea fc

    07. Oct, 2005

    What percentage of kids go to college? How would this help the non-attending kids deal with taxes. Sounds a bit stupid to me.

  2. Elaine

    08. Oct, 2005

    I think the point of this post is that those who are getting an education are making an investment in themselves and society, and they are given a break for doing so- a $1000 tax break is nothing compared to the 20-something thousand they spend for college. If you don’t even attend college, why should you get a tax break? Along those lines, if I don’t have kids, and am not blind, I’m not going to get those tax breaks either.

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