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Nonprofit Tax Compliance

Traditional nonprofit public and private colleges and universities historically have been granted tax-exempt status, which permits them to use more resources to fund the educational activities, academic research, student financial aid, and community programs that fulfill their core missions of teaching, research, and public service. As tax-exempt entities, universities are regulated by both the Federal government as well as State governments. Each year, these institutions must demonstrate their compliance with federal and state laws and regulations that govern tax-exempt entities through tax filings, audits, and public reports.

Although nonprofit universities are tax-exempt entities, they are subject to tax on any unrelated business income (UBIT). In addition, nonprofit institutions of higher education often make voluntary payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) to their localities as a substitute for property taxes and, in some instances, they also pay property taxes on any commercial properties that earn a certain amount in annual income.



Learn about why tax-exempt financing is critical for universities to advance their mission of educating and innovating for the public good.
The vast majority of public and private universities and colleges are tax-exempt entities as defined by IRC Section 501(c)(3) because of their educational purposes—purposes that the federal government has long recognized as fundamental to fostering the productive and civic capacity of its citizens—and/or the fact that they are state governmental entities.
Unrelated business taxable income (UBIT) is income from a trade or business that is regularly carried on by a tax-exempt organization and is not substantially related to the organization's exempt purpose.
AAU joined 17 other higher education organizations on a letter to House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committee leaders to pass legislation to address issues in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, including the “kiddie,” parking, and endowment taxes, and to extend the above-the-line deduction for qualified tuition and related expenses.
A number of provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) affect higher education. This matrix compares prior legislation with new legislation enacted under this tax reform bill.
A number of provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) affect higher education. This document compares new provisions of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act with tax reform plans proposed by the U.S. House and Senate and prior tax law.
A statement was issued today by AAU, ACE, and NAICU in response to legislation under consideration by the Connecticut General Assembly to impose taxation on Yale University.
The National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) offers comments for consideration by the Senate Finance Committee Working Group on Business Income Tax on behalf of the undersigned associations.
A summary of higher education provisions in a tax reform discussion draft released by Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), chair of the House Ways and Means Committee.