News & Insights

The value of the president's home at Boston University is estimated at $257,447 per year.Does your theological school's president live in housing provided by the school?

If so, the Internal Revenue Service wants to know.

Presidents of educational institutions must report as income the fair-market value of their housing when they fill out their tax forms, experts say.

But what's not clear is whether presidents should pay taxes on the full value of the houses they inhabit, or just the personal quarters. If someone rented the entire house that Boston University president Robert Brown's lives in (pictured here), the rent would likely be more than $21,000 per month. But Brown describes his residence as "an apartment over a restaurant," since it's used so often for official functions.

The Boston Globe recently looked up the fair-market value of Boston-area presidents' houses. Boston University's has the highest value, because the university decided to value the entire building. Meanwhile, the home of the president of Northeastern University, overlooking Boston Common, is valued at only $6,225 per month, because that school appraised only the private quarters. At the other end of the continuum is Boston College's president, a priest who lives in the Jesuit residence on campus (and receives no salary from the college). 

Read the full article here.

Good questions for CFOs and boards: Has your president's house been appraised? Are you in compliance with all tax reporting requirements?


Photo credit: Jonathan Wiggs / Boston Globe staff

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