Student Loan Payments By Employers

This new provision enables employers to provide a student loan repayment benefit to employees on a tax-free basis. An employer may contribute up to $5,250 annually toward an employee’s student loans, and the payment will be excluded from the employee’s income. The $5,250 cap applies to both the new student loan repayment benefit as well as other educational assistance (such as tuition, fees, and books) provided by the employer under current law. (such as under IRC Sec. 127.) The provision applies to any student loan payments made by an employer on behalf of an employee, whether paid to a lender or to the employee, after the CARES Act’s March 27, 2020 enactment date and before January 1, 2021. To prevent a double benefit, student loan repayments for which the exclusion is allowable cannot be deducted under IRC Sec. 221 (the limited deduction provision for student loan interest)