A 529 college savings account could be the perfect investment if you are someone who wants to contribute a child’s higher education and you are a parent, grandparent or legal guardian of that child. You have several options open to you that can ease some of the tax burden for you. If you invest in a child’s savings account such as a 529 Prepaid Tuition plan, 529 Qualified Tuition plan or an Education Savings Account, these accounts can earn interest not subject to federal taxes.
Opening this type of savings account for college in your child’s name also offers more than relief from the capital gains tax on a federal tax basis. In most states, there are also tax benefits for a college savings account such as those specified above. However, some states may limit just how much a particular investment will receive in terms of a tax break. If withdrawals are made from a college savings account or a prepaid tuition plan and withdrawals are not spent on qualified expenditures, these withdrawals may be penalized and taxed through the IRS. In some cases, these penalties do not apply, however, such as if the intended student receives a scholarship, acquires a disability, or dies.
If you’re looking for just such a college savings account, you don’t just have to consider the 529 Qualified Tuition plan or prepaid tuition plans. You can also opt for the Coverdell Education Savings Account, which will not only cover higher education costs, but will also help out with eligible elementary and secondary school expenses. As with the 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan and the 529 College Savings Account, the Coverdell Education Savings Account will penalize you if you make purchases that do not qualify as a legitimate expense under the plan’s specifications.
Just about anyone is eligible for either the 529 Prepaid Tuition Plan or the 529 College Savings Accounts in most states. However, many states have the restriction that either the student or contributor must live in the state the plan or savings account was established in.
Depnding on your goals there is one possible disadvantage to using a 529 Plan or Education Savings Account. That is, there are usually limit caps of $300,000 total for a 529 Plan or $2000 a year for a Coverdell ESA. Certain plans may also limit how much can be gifted annually and still qualify for a tax exemption. You can easily check online to determine your states eligibility requirements or restrictions and for savings plans that do not have residency restrictions. Your child’s higher educations and future can be secured with proper planning and choosing a 529 or other savings account for college.