We are reaching out to remind you of two upcoming deadlines (February 14 and March 15, 2020) for those of you who are using the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) for Harvard classes taken during the spring 2020 semester (including the January term). As you may recall from an earlier email we sent, Harvard is now withholding tax for graduate-level tuition benefits that meet certain criteria. If you are taking a Harvard class during the spring semester, please read this entire message as it lists two different ways for you to avoid owing most or all tax on your TAP benefits this semester.
Harvard TAP Form Deadline: Friday, February 14, 2020
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 form on Benefit Strategies’ website here: https://www.benstrat.com/harvard/.
As we mentioned our email message from July 2019, in order to ensure compliance with IRS policy, Harvard will begin withholding tax from your paycheck for any graduate-level tuition benefits (TAP/TRP) you receive from Harvard over $5250 per year for non-job-related classes. 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” 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 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 over $5250, however, Harvard is offering 80% reimbursement of that tax for the spring 2020 semester (and the January 2020 term) if you apply by March 15. See details on the reimbursement program under item 2, below.
February 14 is the TAP form deadline for staff taking classes at the Harvard Extension School. Harvard Extension School TAP forms should be submitted to Benefit Strategies. TAP forms for classes taken at other Harvard schools (HGSE, T.H. Chan, etc.) are first submitted to the school and that school submits them to Benefit Strategies for further processing. The TAP form deadlines for other Harvard schools may be set later than February 14, but you should still try to get your TAP form into as early as possible in February to ensure timely processing by Benefit Strategies.
TAP Tax Reimbursement Deadline: Sunday, March 15, 2020
If your course is not job-related (or if you are not able to get your supervisor’s signature on your TAP form), you can apply for 80% reimbursement of any tax you owe on Harvard courses for this semester (spring 2020) using the Transitional TAP Fund (TTF). And if you enrolled in a degree program prior to July 1, 2019, you can apply for 100% reimbursement of the tax owed. You can find the TTF reimbursement form on Benefit Strategies website: https://www.benstrat.com/harvard/. This form is due 3/15/2020. You can learn more about how the Transitional TAP Fund works on the Q&A sheet created by Harvard. The 80% tax reimbursement is for the spring 2020 semester only.
Please note that although HUCTW is sending out this reminder, the new TAP process is overseen and administered by the Harvard Benefits Office — it is their process. Harvard Benefits Office hires the company, Benefit Strategies, to receive and process all Harvard TAP and TTF forms. You should direct follow-up questions or concerns about the new TAP process and the status of your forms to those two offices.As deadlines approach, the Benefits Office and Benefit Strategies often receive many phone calls 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