April 13,2015

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Wyden Commends Administration’s Efforts to Boost Awareness for Higher Education Tax Credits

WASHINGTON - Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today commended the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) increased outreach to high schools, colleges, and families across the country on how to take advantage of underutilized tax credits to help pay for higher education:

“As Tax Day quickly approaches, millions of American families are busy sorting through a convoluted patchwork of breaks and benefits, particularly when it comes to covering the astounding cost of higher education,” Wyden said. “Students and their families need more simple and straightforward information on higher education tax credits available today, and I’m pleased the Administration has taken this step to help raise awareness.”

“For tomorrow’s college students, comprehensive tax reform should first consolidate the current dozen or so tax incentives into no more than a few to help with saving for college, paying current college costs, and paying off student loans.  Second, tax reform should make these remaining incentives more generous and accessible so that more Americans have the chance to pursue a higher education.”

The IRS recently prepared a flyer and information guide for high school and college financial aid offices to help students and their families take advantage of tax credits such as the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) and Lifetime Learning Tax Credit (LLC). That flyer can be found here, and more information on the credits can be found here.

Earlier this year, Wyden sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Education Secretary Arne Duncan requesting action to raise awareness of underutilized tax benefits used to help pay and save for higher education. The letter can be found here.