Planning for College Tuition Tax Benefits

By Mark E. Riley, Cindy L. Seipel, and P. Larry Tunnell

JANUARY 2006 - The College Board estimates that the annual cost of attending a private university during the 2003/2004 academic year, including tuition, fees, room, and board, was $26,854, while the annual cost at a public university was $10,636. Fortunately, a number of education-related tax benefits are available to help taxpayers pay for a college education. Three of these, the Hope Scholarship Credit (HSC), the Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC), and the Higher Education Expense Deduction (HEED), are based on the amount of tuition paid and are the focus of this article.

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Publisher's Column

Loans to Shareholders

IRC section 7872 was enacted to eliminate the tax advantages of making interest-free or below-market-rate loans by treating such a loan as economically equivalent to a loan bearing interest at an imputed rate coupled with a payment by the lender to the borrower sufficient to fund the payment of interest by the borrower. The recently enacted equivalent treatment of dividends and long-term capital gains changes the tax consequences of such loans when made to corporate shareholders.(Corporate employee treatment remains unchanged.)
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Reforming Peer Review: Full Steam Ahead

The Society continues to proactively lead the charge in the effort to reform the current peer review program. Just last month, the NYSSCPA’s Board of Directors approved a whitepaper on peer review that completely reexamines the current program and makes recommendations for reform based on what peer review should be, not what it is. Developed by the Society’s Quality Enhancement Policy Committee (QEPC), chaired by President-Elect Tom Riley, the whitepaper represents a major advance in the evolution of peer review. Full Story

Public Accounting Needs Good Followers

Several summers ago, I attended a dinner and panel discussion that a national firm offered for accounting faculty at a number of southwestern Ohio and northern Kentucky universities. The panel discussion focused on the 150-hour requirement, the added value (or lack thereof) of a graduate degree, hiring practices, and why the firm was hiring undergraduate accounting majors rather than waiting until they completed the 150-hour requirement by getting a master’s degree.
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