WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Congressman Fattah celebrated the permanent extension of the American Opportunity Tax Credit, a bill he first introduced in 2009 that was extended indefinitely today by a vote in Congress. The bill helps low and moderate income students meet their college expenses by offering an annual $2,500 tax credit to pay for higher education costs.
Fattah heralded the bill's permanent extension in remarks today on the House floor, thanking his colleagues for their initial support of the program six years ago, and the more recent bipartisan efforts that have led to the bill's inclusion in the tax extenders package.
"My legislation helps millions of American families help afford the cost of a college education. Education remains the great equalizer in our society, and I am proud that the American Opportunity Tax Credit has helped make college a reality for thousands of students in Philadelphia and nationwide," Congressman Fattah said. "Today, we can celebrate its permanent extension and the expectation that it will put billions more dollars into the hands of middle-class families who are working to send their children to college. As the costs of attending college continue to rise, it's imperative that we can provide consistent support for students and families working towards the goal of a college degree."
The program overwhelming helps middle-class Americans; a majority of taxpayers claiming the credit have an income between $30,000 and $100,000. AOTC also has a broader reach than previous credits; the IRS has shown taxpayers in both lower and higher income brackets accessing the credit with greater frequency than before, with approximately 46.7 billion in credits claimed in 2014. This broader spectrum of eligible families means college is more affordable to an increasingly diverse pool of students.
Introduced in 2009, the bill was originally enacted as part of President Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The annual credit covers expenses related to a college education for up to four years, including direct costs like books, supplies, and equipment.
SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah