Nonprofit Resources


Higher Education Tax Data from Our 2016 Survey

Each year, we survey colleges, universities, and seminaries across the U.S. on key tax issues and report the findings in our Higher Education Tax Reporting Trends Project white paper.

This year’s survey participants were from 190 institutions of all sizes in 36 states and Washington, D.C. Here is some of the key data from the survey findings:

  • 58.29% of participating schools stated that they are “Applicable Large Employers” (ALEs) for the purposes of the Affordable Care Act. ALEs have significant reporting requirements, including Form 1095-C. We’ll cover this more in our next blog post.
  • 32.98% of the respondents have received penalty notices from the IRS regarding missing taxpayer identification numbers (TINs) for students on the annual Form 1098-T filings. The IRS announced prospective penalty relief in this area for the 2015 tax year (reporting in 2016).
  • On a scale of 1 to 4, respondents gave their school’s budgeting process an average score of 2.54 — a C+.
  • 52.66% of respondents have a men’s or women’s cross-country team, or both. If your school has a team, be aware that you might have unrelated business income from sponsors who “advertise” at meets.
  • 75.00% said they employ adjunct professors to teach online classes. If your school does, too, see page 3 of the white paper for two issues you need to track in this area.
  • Only 22.87% said they have conservation easements or historical structures on campus, which seems low. Note that Form 990 Schedule D, Part II requires details regarding these items.

You can read, print, or download the white paper here for the complete survey results and insight on the responses. The paper also includes several higher education tax briefs on ALE calculations, Form 1098-T reporting changes, and state charitable registration.

Our team of higher education specialists can help you with these items and much more. Learn more about how we can serve you with information and insight that fits your institution and supports your mission.

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