Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tax Breaks For Employers Who Help Employees Pay Back Student Loans

Rhode Island Legislator Chris Blazejewski has proposed something quite intriguing in RI. Why not offer something like this nationwide? I know that there are so many small business owners who have probably had potential employees turn down their job offer because the pay was simply not enough - in fact, I know of several cases like that. Why not offer employers tax breaks who help pay off an employer's student loans?

The IRS does offer Employer Provided Educational Assistance (section 127 of the IRS code), but there does not seem to be any thing directly related to an individual's debt.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Agreed. The government already owns my loans, and either I'm never going to pay, or I am going to pay, but they're going to put my employer in a position to enable me to do so. Would make me a productive member of society, would make my employer's business much better in so many ways (because it would have happy, thankful employees), and it would probably reduce the amount of my debt that I'm going to end up having forgiven when this whole thing is said and done.

Nando said...

Great idea. But it seems like a pipe dream. As such, I am not going to put much hope, faith or stock in this proposal.

C. Cryn Johannsen said...

Thanks, Nando. I appreciate the feedback.

Reid Jackson said...

It sounds wonderful if it actually could happen. I took the non-profit route to pay off my student loans, though living meagerly with an MBA isn't what I got the degree to do.

Anonymous said...

Paying back a standard loan was never the problem though. Shrewd lenders will just increase their rates and fees by whatever amount this pays them. This almost sounds like another form of federal loan guarentees.

Nando said...

You are welcome, Cryn. I just wanted to provide some gravity to the discussion. (I never more than cautiously optimistic.) Talk is cheap, results matter.

C. Cryn Johannsen said...

You know? For someone who thinks talk is cheap, you sure do a lot of it. Stop demeaning the weapon you use best: language. Oh, and another thing, don't tell me there aren't any obvious results. You know that's bullshit.

Nando said...

It seems that my rhetoric - as well as that of the other scambloggers - has helped gain the attention of Slate, NYT, WSJ, ABA Journal, et al. If we had been nice and deferential, we would not have garnered much attention.

Also, my goal is modest, i.e. to inform prospective law students about the perils of American "legal education." I have accomplished that end. I, and the other scambloggers, have received dozens of emails from thankful people who have reconsidered their decision to attend law school. Law school applications are down. A sitting US senator has now addressed this issue, with the ABA. (I don't expect a whole hell of a lot to come from this, but it helps spread the word to prospective students.) We played a small role in these developments.

I have no grand designs to fundamentally change the higher education system. I set modest, attainable goals. I then focus on reaching that target. If I shoot for the stars, I will be engaging in an exercise in futility and frustration. YOU, on the other hand, have too much faith in politicians. You seem to think that they will do the right thing, if an issue is compelling enough. This is misplaced faith.

Lastly, try not to swear during the upcoming Westlaw broadcast. I'm sure things will get a little testy, during that discussion. Phillip Closius has a B.A. from Notre Dame and a law degree from Columbia. He is also more direct than most academics. Don't get flustered by him, or me.

C. Cryn Johannsen said...

Flustered? Me? Are you joking?

C. Cryn Johannsen said...

And why do you think I have too much faith in politicians? I like to take their feet and run them over coals. That's not driven by faith, Nando. I do, on the other hand, like people. I am not a misanthrope. I guess that makes me naive or some sort of idiot in your view.

C. Cryn Johannsen said...

And your point about being deferential has no bearing. Rhetoric is language - that was my point.

warwick555 said...

I think this idea is a great one. Employers should make it a priority to help qualified graduates pay back their debt. After all, students are incurring debt to become employable. Our capitalistic system is very broken right now and in danger of collapse, no matter what the corporate-sponsored media says. It is the young who are most burdened by its failures, and they see the world in black and white. Socialism good, capitalism bad.