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House Committee Approves Student and Family Tax Simplification Act

June 26, 2014

Capitol

ACE Letter Expresses Concern Over Bill's Impact

​The House Ways and Means Committee voted 22-13 June 24 to approve legislation to consolidate four higher education tax provisions into one.

The Student and Family Tax Simplification Act (H.R. 3393) would combine the Hope Credit, the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC), the Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC), and the tuition deduction into a single AOTC and make it permanent. The opening statement by Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), lead sponsor of the bill with Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL), is available here.

ACE sent a letter Tuesday to committee leaders noting that while the Council supports consolidating current student tax credits and making the AOTC permanent—along with provisions that make an important fix to the interaction between the AOTC and the Pell Grant—it cannot support this bill. The improvements come at the expense of graduate and adult students who use the tuition deduction or the LLC, the letter explains, as well as many low- and middle-income undergraduate students.

Meanwhile in the Senate, the Finance Committee held a hearing Tuesday to examine how the tax code can be leveraged to reduce student debt. More information and a webcast of that hearing is available here.

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