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Senate Finance Committee Approves Tax Extenders with Some Education Benefits

August 3, 2012—The Senate Finance Committee Aug. 2 approved (19-5) a measure to extend a number of tax provisions that have expired or are set to expire at the end of the year.  The “extenders” package―officially titled the Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act of 2012―is estimated to cost $205 million, and does not include offsets.

Of importance to medical schools and teaching hospitals, the bill as approved by the Finance Committee includes extensions of the following provisions:

  • Above-the-line deduction for qualified tuition related expenses;
  • Tax-free distributions from individual retirement plan for charitable purposes; and
  • The Research and Development Credit.

Of note, the bill would not extend the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC), a partially refundable $2,500 tax credit for higher education costs, and the higher income eligibility of Student Loan Interest Deduction (SLID), both of which are scheduled to expire Dec. 31, 2012.  It is unclear if the measure includes an extension of a provision that exempts from taxation certain portions of the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) scholarship, which is also set to expire Dec. 31.

The bill concludes with a Sense of the Committee that comprehensive tax reform should be a focus of the next Congress.

It is likely the full Senate will not vote on the extenders package until after the November elections. 


Matthew Shick, JD
Director, Gov't Relations & Regulatory Affairs
Telephone: 202-862-6116


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806