The White House's regulatory review arm is examining guidance concerning an excise tax on large endowments.
The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs is reviewing Department of Treasury guidance with respect to a 1.4% excise tax on net endowment investment income. The final rule guidance was received Monday, the regulatory affairs office disclosed.
The tax was included in the 2017 tax reform bill and applies to institutions with at least 500 students and net assets of $500,000 per student. It does not include state colleges and universities. The Internal Revenue Service estimates that 40 or fewer institutions are affected.
The Treasury proposal, unveiled in 2019, defines of few keys terms, like "student," and aims to explain how to calculate the investment income subject to the tax, among other clarifications.
Major colleges, universities and organizations have criticized the tax.
"We remain strongly opposed to this tax," the National Association of College and University Business Officers said in its 2019 comment letter. "It is an unprecedented and damaging attack on the tax-exempt status of higher education institutions and their students. It will diminish charitable resources available for financial aid, research, academic support, public service and innovation."