The Coalition to Preserve Employer Provided Education Assistance is a broad-based coalition of groups representing business, labor and education dedicated to preserving and expanding Section 127 of the Internal Revenue Code. Providing employers with the flexibility to offer support throughout a variety of stages in the education life-cycle gives employees choices when making education related decisions. Additionally, providing tax-free educational assistance is an important tool for furthering higher education, allowing employers to attract the best employees, and building an educated workforce to continue to position the U.S. economy to compete globally.
Section 127 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) allows an employee to exclude from income up to $5,250 per year in educational assistance provided by their employer for courses at the associate, undergraduate and graduate level. Although Section 127 assistance is a voluntary benefit offered by employers, an employer that chooses to provide these benefits to his/her employees must do so on a nondiscriminatory basis that does not favor highly compensated employees. Congress extended Section 127 nine times since it was created in 1978, and finally made the provision permanent, due in large part to the Coalition’s efforts, with the passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act (Pub.L. 112–240) on January 1, 2013.
The Coalition is now engaged in several efforts to expand Section 127 to include student loan repayment, and to raise the yearly allowed limit.