Tax Legislation

As a major employer, leading university and one of the nation’s largest charitable entities, tax policy has a significant impact on Harvard University. Tax issues of concern tend to be focused around four distinct clusters – tax-exempt status, charitable giving, educational tax incentives and employer-provided benefits. Tax-exempt status is the crucial tax policy underlying independent higher education. It predates the formation of most of the nation’s colleges, universities and even the nation’s tax code. Charitable giving is a major source of revenue for the university – it is vitally important in the immediate sense as well as over the long term through the university’s endowment. The tax code also provides incentives for families to invest in education and to make the expenses associated with that investment more affordable through tax initiatives such as the HOPE and Lifetime Learning credits, and the student loan interest deduction. Finally, tax policy shapes the benefits the university can offer its employees.

Additional Resources