If a taxpayer received educational assistance benefits from his employer under a qualified educational assistance program, he could exclude up to $5,250 of eligible benefits each year. The benefits are to cover tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment. The educational assistance benefits do not include payments for travel, including meals and lodging nor tools or supplies (such as a laptop computer) that can be kept and used after the course. Generally, any course or instruction that improves or develops your capabilities is accepted. Sports or hobby-related courses are not accepted unless they specifically correlate with the business of the employer.