Proposed Regulations Would Tax More Than Just College And University Endowments

Proposed Regulations would taxes more-potentially much more-than what is traditionally considered part of the endowment. The Proposed Rules take an expansive interpretation of what income might be subject to the tax; however, it isn’t uncommon for final regulations to have a narrower interpretation based on further consideration of issues raised during the comments process.

Section 4968 imposes a 1.4% excise tax on the “net investment income” of certain universites and colleges. Prior to enactment of the TCJA, private universities and colleges, like most nonprofits, were exempt from tax on the investment income. As currently drafted, the Proposed Regulations would taxes interest, dividends, rent, and royalties a university or university earns from any asset it holds, including assets found in furtherance of the university or university’s educational mission. 500,year 000 per pupil in the immediately preceding taxable.

If an exclusive college or school meets the threshold meanings under the Proposed Regulations, and it is therefore subject to the excise tax as an relevant educational organization, then its net investment income is subject to the 1.4% excise tax. As mentioned above, Section 4968 defines an relevant educational institution, in part, with respect to just how many “tuition-paying students” go to the institution. 50% of its tuition-paying students will need to have been situated in america during the preceding calendar year.

The 500 tuition-paying college student guideline ostensibly creates a motivation for colleges and universities to reduce the amount of tuition-paying students below 500 to avoid application of the excise taxes. Indeed, at least 14 private universites and colleges have eliminated tuition for students by providing scholarships from their endowments, but only in conjunction with assistance from third-party authorities and scholarships help.

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Section 4968 will not define the word “tuition paying,” and, unfortunately, the Proposed Regulations define “tuition-paying students” as including students who rely on federal government, condition, or private grants or loans, regardless of whether those students in reality pay tuition. Scholarship payments provided by third parties, even if administered by the educational institution, are considered payments of tuition on behalf of the training college student.

Only students who get full scholarships from the educational organization itself are considered non-tuition-paying students under the Proposed Regulations. This expansive definition of “tuition-paying students” means a college or college or university cannot rely on federal government help or third-party scholarships to defray some of the tuition. The power is bound by This definition of the 500-student exclusion because hardly any, if any, schools or colleges have the resources to provide free tuition without relying on government aid or third-party scholarships. As the Proposed Regulations ask for feedback about most areas of the new excise taxes, they are notably silent regarding comments on the definition of “tuition-paying students,” which implies that description might stay through following rules.

Obtaining such appraisals can be costly and burdensome. The purpose of the private foundation net investment tax was not to raise income on endowment income; rather, it was to pay for IRS oversight and enforcement of the private basis excise fees. The Section 4940 rules generally subject matter all gross “investment income” to taxes, including interest, dividends, rents, and royalties, whether or not the asset offering rise to the investment income is specialized in charitable activities. Ironically, the Section 4940 guidelines give the exemplory case of interest that a private foundation earns on an educatonal loan as being at the mercy of the Section 4940 taxes.