Officers Tuition Tax Treatment

Undergraduate Studies

According to IRS guidelines, tuition exemption benefits for undergraduate-level are exempt from taxation.

Please Note: In the event an Officer’s Same-Sex Domestic Partner – dependent child receives Tuition Programs Benefits from a Columbia undergraduate degree, courses, summer session, as an enrolled or visiting student in the Special Students Program, the tuition Programs benefits received is considered imputed income to the Officer, and, therefore taxable.

Graduate-Level Studies

For Officers, according to IRS guidelines, tuition exemption benefits for a graduate-level studies (course numbers 4000 & above) are exempt from taxation up to the federal limit of $5,250 in a calendar year. The value of tuition exemption benefits above the federal limit of $5,250 is treated as taxable imputed income, and taxes will be withheld from your paycheck. The University will spread the tax liability of Tuition Exemption benefits for payroll periods during the term.

The one exception to this IRS guideline is for graduate-level studies certified as “job-related,” per IRS-defined criteria.

Please visit the Job-Related Graduate Education Certification page for Policy and guidance on whether you qualify for the Job-Related tax exemption, additionally there are instructions for you and your supervisor on how to certify.

Due to the impact of Covid-19, new Job-Related forms must be submitted by your Supervisor to [email protected], confirming it has been signed and certified as job-related per the IRS criteria reflected in the policy.

To review the specific language concerning Tax Treatment, please consult the Tuition Exemption Benefits for Officers Policy.