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You might call it a case of haste makes waste. The tax cut bill that passed Congress in late 2017, less than two months after an initial version was introduced in the House with nary a public hearing or input from the minority (Democratic) party, has delivered an unexpected tax bill to college students on scholarship.

That portion of their financial aid that pays for anything but tuition and books, known as non-tuition assistance, is considered unearned income and taxed at the same rate as trusts and estates, as a result of the 2017 tax cut legislation. Those rates are 35% on unearned income above $9,150 and 37% on unearned income over $12,500.

The 2017 tax cut legislation dramatically changed the rate on the kiddie tax — which applies to unearned income for almost all children under 18 and many up to age 23 above $2,200 in 2019 after deductions — from the rate of a students’ parents to the trust tax rate.

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