How the Tax Bill
Congress is moving quickly to overhaul the tax code
by January 1. The final bill may have significant
consequences for independent schools on everything from
charitable giving to employee housing. The House and
Senate have each passed their version of a tax reform
bill, and a conference committee has been established to
reconcile the two pieces of legislation.
Now is the last big chance for you to weigh in on
behalf of independent
schools before the final vote. Do you want to speak out?
Action Center enables you to send a letter to your
elected officials at the click of a button! You can
use provided talking points or customize the
communication as you see fit.
While these bills are complex, there are four main
issues on which NAIS urges you and the independent school community to weigh in:
Both the House and Senate bills would
decrease the incentive for charitable giving. We support
providing taxpayers with the ability to benefit from
charitable giving regardless of whether they itemize on
their tax returns so that giving remains strong in this
Educational Assistance: The House bill eliminates the
tax-free tuition remission and employer-provided
education benefits. This means that as of January 1,
2018, any tuition remission provided to children of
staff and any education benefits provided to the
employee would be considered taxable income to that
employee. We urge the conference committee to follow the
lead of the Senate and retain these benefits.
The House bill eliminates tax-exempt
bond financing for nonprofits. These bonds, called
qualified 501(c)(3) private-activity bonds, have a much
lower interest rate than taxable bonds. Independent
schools rely on tax-exempt bonds to lower their
borrowing costs when embarking on critical capital
infrastructure projects such as academic buildings and
residence halls. We urge the conference committee to
follow the lead of the Senate and retain tax-exempt
Employer-provided Housing: The House bill
limits and phases out the tax-free, employer-provided
housing benefit. This bill will limit the tax-free
benefit of employer-provided housing to $50,000, and any
value beyond that amount will be taxable. For
individuals earning more than $120,000, the benefit will
be reduced by $1 for every $2 of income beyond $120,000.
For some staff, including heads of school, the benefit
will likely get erased entirely, and the full value of
their housing will be taxable income now. We urge the
conference committee to follow the lead of the Senate
and retain the full employer-provided housing benefit.
Take action NOW:
Learn: Read more about the tax bills,
what they contain, and how they may affect you at the
NAIS Legal and Legislative Resources tax page.
NAIS Action Center for talking points and draft
letters you can review and send within minutes. Feel
free to customize to tell your school’s story!
Tell your colleagues and friends in the independent
school community about this effort—the Action Center is
Thank you for your time and engagement.
Please do not hesitate to contact me at
Whitney Silverman at firstname.lastname@example.org
with any questions.
NAIS General Counsel