Talk among graduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has been buzzing with speculation about a proposed federal tax bill that could hike their income taxes so high some wonder whether they could complete their degrees.
“A lot of folks are debating whether they would be able to stay in school,” said Adria Brooks, co-present of the Teaching Assistants Association, a labor union representing graduate student workers at UW-Madison. “People are panicked, they’re unsure of what to do,” Brooks said.
The U.S. House approved a tax reform bill Nov. 16 that would eliminate a section of the IRS code that exempts tuition remission for graduate students from taxes, making it taxable income.
Graduate students at public universities who work as teaching or research assistants often receive tuition reductions in addition to stipends for their work.
Well, it IS income, isn’t it? If a private employer gives an employee tuition assistance, it counts as income if it’s over a certain amount. Why wouldn’t the same apply if the employer is the university?