FASEB sent a letter to Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and all members of the conference committee negotiating the final language of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (HR 1) opposing the proposal to tax tuition waivers granted to graduate students who serve as teaching or research assistants. A provision that was included in the House version of HR 1 would eliminate the section of the tax code that exempts tuition waivers from taxable income. The FASEB letter urged the conference committee to ensure that the final version of the tax bill does not include this harmful provision.
Treating tuition waivers as taxable income will increase tax burden for graduate students, presenting a significant financial challenge to those currently pursuing advanced degrees. This proposal could also be discouraging to the future pipeline of scientific researchers.