The CARES Act allows employers to contribute up to $5,250 tax-free annually to their employees’ student loans until December 31, 2020. Read about it here. Employers are permitted to make payments, whether to the employee or to the lender directly, of principal or interest for a qualifying student loan up to $5,250 per employee per calendar year. Thus, employees had to pay income taxes and employers were required to pay payroll taxes on any student loan assistance paid to employees. UPDATE: As of September 30, 2020, the CARES Act ended. With the CARES Act, employer contributions toward principal or interest on an employee’s qualifying student loan of up to $5,250 per year are tax-free – for both employer for payroll purposes and the employee for income tax purposes – when these contributions are made any time after March 27, 2020, through December 31, 2020. The CARES Act provides pandemic relief for employers to help repay employee student loans through a one-time, temporary amendment to Section 127 of the IRS Code. Ugh. Practically speaking, we have seen little interest from employers to adopt such a plan. The CARES Act and Employer Student Loan Contributions. The CARES Act adds employer student loan repayments made on or after the effective date of the CARES Act (March 27, 2020) through Dec. 31, 2021. This provision allows employers to pay up to $5,250 of an employee's student loan debt on a tax-free basis. For the past few years, employers have been grappling with different ways to provide student loan assistance to employees. The CARES Act, the sweeping stimulus legislation enacted in March, includes relief for student loan borrowers. But by executive order, the president extended student loan payment relief. For most federal student loan borrowers, the CARES Act offers substantial relief by automatically suspending monthly payments, and reducing interest to 0%, through Sept. 30, 2020. The CARES Act makes certain employer payments of employees’ student loans excludable from employees’ gross income. Before January 1, 2021, employers can make contributions toward their employees’ student loans on a tax-free basis under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.The CARES Act was enacted on March 27, 2020 with the goal of … That means student loan interest will still be deferred until 12/31/2020. Employers who help repay employee student loans take a big step in forming lasting trust and partnership with valued staff. Student loans. Just the … The CARES Act also amends Section 127 of the tax code to incorporate provisions of The Employer Participation in Repayment Act. 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