Education & Taxes:

Employer Educational Aid

Your client can receive up to $5,250 from their employer as tuition assistance to take job related undergraduate courses tax-free.

The tax exemption only applies to undergraduate college courses; grad level courses are not tax deductible. The only requirement is that the classes have to be work related.

However, there is a little loophole that can help people take graduate level courses and still claim $5,250 in tax exemption. Your client may still be able to take graduate level courses if the tuition assistance that he or she will receive from their employer is used to further their skills in their trade; it can’t be something that prepares them for a new career.

This means simply that if your client is a lawyer with a large firm, he or she can use the tuition assistance program to take law courses to further their law career in their company. The money they receive from their firm for the course is tax-free. But if your client starts taking hospital administration courses at night using that money, they can’t claim the deduction.

So advise your clients to try to stay within the bounds of the tax law and enjoy the tuition assistance benefits to further their education.