12.16.15

SCHUMER ANNOUNCES, AFTER HIS PUSH, JUST-UNVEILED TAX PACKAGE WOULD MAKE COLLEGE TUITION TAX CREDIT PERMANENT; SCHUMER-AUTHORED TAX CREDIT PROVIDES MUCH-NEEDED RELIEF TO MIDDLE-CLASS FAMILIES NOW PAYING SKY-HIGH COLLEGE TUITION COSTS

‘American Opportunity Tax Credit’ Provides A Major Boost For Middle-Class Families Across NY, But Was Set to Expire in 2017; Permanent Tax Credit Would Mean That Families Could Rely on Much-Needed Relief for Years to Come

With Full Tax Credit, NY Families With Students in College Are Eligible to Collectively Save Over $1B Per Year

Schumer: A Permanent American Opportunity Tax Credit Would Provide Needed Relief for Middle-Class Families Now Bearing the Rocketing Cost of Higher Education and Eliminate Uncertainty for the Many Families Who Currently Depend On It

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that, following his push, the just-unveiled tax package, the Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes Act of 2015, would make the Schumer-authored college tax credit a permanent part of the U.S. Tax Code. Schumer’s tax credit provides critical relief for middle-class families by enabling them to offset the cost of college tuition. This provision was set to expire in 2017. If allowed to expire, many middle class families with children currently in college and receiving this credit would lose out on $2,500 in tax savings a year.

Schumer’s legislation, the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC), which he helped pass into law in 2009, is available to families earning up to $180,000 per year and provides a tax credit of up to $2,500 per year, per eligible student. Families with students New York are eligible to save over $1 billion per year with this tax credit. The U.S. Office of Management and Budget estimated that the AOTC will provided $15.2 billion in tax relief nationwide in 2015 to make college more affordable. 

Schumer secured this provision in the tax extender package, the Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes Act, which Schumer said is must-pass legislation before the end of the year. Schumer said that making this tax credit permanent  would be incredibly important because so many families across New York ?currently rely on it and many middle-class families will need it when they send their children to college. Schumer said he will continue to fight for an expansion to the tax credit so that more families can save even more for college.

“The American Opportunity Tax Credit will continue to provide critical tax relief to middle-class families – now struggling with skyrocketing college tuition costs –  for many years to come.  In today’s globally competitive job market, a college education is a necessity that is being priced as a luxury – and it is breaking the bank for students and families all across Upstate New York. With tuition costs continuing to rise, middle-class families should be able to take advantage of any savings they can get and that is why I pushed to make sure the American Opportunity Tax Credit was included in this must-pass tax package and I will continue to urge my colleagues in Congress to make the American Opportunity Tax Credit a permanent fixture in the tax code,” said Schumer.  

Schumer secured this provision in the tax extender package, Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes Act, which Schumer said is must pass legislation before the end of the year. Schumer said that making this tax credit permanent would be incredibly important because so many families across New York rely on it. Schumer said he will continue to fight for an expansion to the tax credit so that more families can save more for college. Schumer said that, according to the New York State Education Department Office of Higher Education, in 2013 there were a total of 519,046 undergraduate students attending college, both full- and part-time, across Upstate New York. Schumer said this means these families would be eligible to save an estimated $1,005,860,000 per year.

Schumer first introduced the American Opportunity Tax Credit Permanence and Consolidation Act, in 2012, which would have made the AOTC a permanent part of the tax code. After years of pushing this provision, Schumer secured a permanent extension of the AOTC in the must-pass tax extenders package, which would save families thousands of dollars each year. Unlike a tax deduction, which reduces the amount of income subject to tax, a tax credit directly reduces taxes owed. The AOTC tax credit is currently available to families earning less than $180,000—or $90,000 as a single-filer—per year. The new bill would make the AOTC a permanent part of the tax code, eliminating uncertainty that it will be extended for many families who depend on it. 

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