We want to remind you of an important upcoming deadlines (July 16) for those of you who are using the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) for Harvard graduate-level classes during the summer 2021 semester. As you may know, Harvard is now withholding tax for graduate-level tuition benefits that meet certain criteria. This tax can add up to a substantial amount of money withheld from your paycheck, so if you are taking a Harvard class for graduate credit this semester, it is important that you read this entire message.
This message describes how the tax is applied and how, depending on what type of class you are taking, you may be able to avoid tax on your TAP benefits this semester. You can disregard this message if you are taking your courses for undergraduate credit or no credit (or not taking classes at all) — it is only relevant for those taking Harvard classes for graduate credit.
Harvard TAP Form Deadline: Friday, July 16, 2021
The Harvard Benefits Office requires all staff who are using the Harvard Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) this semester to fill out a TAP Form. You can find the TAP form by clicking on the second blue bar on this page: https://www.benstrat.com/harvard/. The form is due July 16 for the Harvard Extension School and most other Harvard schools (a few may have a later deadline).
As described on the page “Harvard TAP Tax Policy” on our website, in order to ensure compliance with IRS policy, Harvard is now withholding tax from your paycheck for any graduate-level tuition benefits (TAP) you receive from Harvard valued over $5,250 per calendar year for non-job-related classes. Please note that the tax is based on the real value of each course, not how much you pay with your staff discount (for example, at the Extension School staff only pay $40 per class, but the real value of each class is $2,900). You can see a detailed example of how the tax is applied on the TAP policy page.
You may be able to avoid owing any tax on your classes if you use the TAP form to attest that your course is job-related and have your supervisor sign that section of the form. Read more about how “job-relatedness” criteria can be applied here.
If you feel that your course is not job-related or if you are unable to get your supervisor’s signature, check “no” in the job-relatedness section on the TAP form and skip to the next section of the form. If you check “no”, you will owe the tax on your graduate-level tuition benefits totally over $5,250 for the year.
Please note that although HUCTW is providing this reminder, the TAP tax process is overseen and administered by the Harvard Benefits Office — it is their policy. And the Harvard Benefits Office hires and provides instructions to the company, Benefit Strategies, that receives and process all Harvard TAP and TTF forms. You should direct follow-up questions about TAP tax policies and the status of your TAP and TTF forms to those two offices.The Benefits Office and Benefit Strategies often receive many phone calls around this time so you may find it easier to email them, rather than sitting on-hold on the phone:
- Email the Harvard Benefits Office: email@example.com
- Email Benefit Strategies: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please let us know if you have any questions about anything above.