Should You Use 529 Plan Money to Pay the Cost of Studying Abroad? Do you have other qualified expenses coming up? Is This Myth Going to Cost You Thousands for College? It was super easy for me to compare my client's current plan to the 529 I would recommend and show him that he can save almost $10,000 in fees over the next 14 years. For most parents, it will be 100% of the beneficiary’s qualified higher education expenses paid this year—tuition, fees, books, supplies, equipment, and room and board—less $4,000. non-qualified) 529 money is later withdrawn. Savingforcollege.com is an unbiased, independent resource for parents and financial professionals, providing them with information and tools to understand the benefits of 529 college savings plans and how to meet the challenge of increasing college costs. You can withdraw the amount you invested without penalty, but leave the growth in place to avoid being penalized. Your 529 plan has specific rules for spending in return for those 529 tax benefits and other advantages. The information is being presented without consideration of the investment objectives, risk tolerance or financial circumstances of any specific investor and might not be suitable for all investors. Yes.You must report 529 Plan distributions. Connecticut has two 529 plan options - one consumer plan and one plan that is sold by financial advisors (we're big advocates of doing-it-yourself, you don't need to pay a financial advisor for this). This federal expansion of 529 plans affects the CHET program (Connecticut’s state-sponsored 529 plan) because it operates pursuant to federal law. The earnings portion of 529 plan withdrawals must be used for qualified higher education expenses to maintain their tax-free status and avoid a 10 percent tax penalty. However, a recapture requirement may be difficult for the Department of Revenue Services (DRS) to enforce. Should I Use a Coverdell or 529 for My Child’s Education? Fidelity. 529 plans offer the potential of higher returns and tax-advantaged growth compared with lower-yielding bank accounts.² In fact, if you consider saving $200 per month in a bank account versus investing that same amount in a 529 plan, you could be leaving a lot of money on the table over the course of 18 years. And recent tax laws give you even more options. How to Make an Early Withdrawal From Your IRA Without Paying the Fee, How 529s Affect Scholarships (and Vice Versa). The Biggest 529 Withdrawal Mistake To Avoid. You can request a withdrawal online, by mail or via phone. The Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) is the name of Connecticut's 529 Plan. Save any bills, receipts, and documentation for tax time. Department of Treasury. The 529 plan administrator must be given sufficient lead time to process the distribution request in the current calendar year. Paying for rent, books, and supplies would be a better option for these funds and won’t subject you to a penalty. Learn more about the types of costs 529 plans can help fund. Saving for college? 4 of 5. If your qualifying student receives tax-free educational assistance (outright grants and scholarships), the amount of expenses that would otherwise qualify will be reduced by the amount of the tax-free aid. Switching your 529 plan savings to a younger child can help you save and jump-start that family member’s college savings. Since penalties do exist for non-qualified withdrawals, fully understanding the differences between qualified and non-qualified expenses and taking steps to minimize your penalties before you withdraw will allow you to keep as much of your hard-saved investment as possible. Performance i x. What 529 Savings Options Exist in Illinois? They typically have three options: (1) a check made out to the account owner, (2) a check made out to the account beneficiary, or (3) a check made out to the educational institution (or jointly to the institution and the beneficiary). College Savings Plan Network. How much is the maximum tax-free withdrawal? Your 529 savings are designed for college, but some expenditures do not qualify even if they relate to your time in school or your coursework. By keeping the 529 withdrawal away from the college, the parent and student avoid any complications with the bursar’s office. CHET Advisor is administered by the Treasurer of the State of Connecticut as the Trustee of the Connecticut Higher Education Trust Program, and Hartford Funds Management Company, LLC serves as Plan manager. CHET Advisor is administered by the Treasurer of the State of Connecticut as the Trustee of the Connecticut Higher Education Trust Program, and Hartford Funds Management Company, LLC serves as Plan manager. As part of this process, determine if the AOTC is maximized by paying second semester college bills in December versus January. The unnerved account owner must respond by submitting substantiation of the beneficiary’s college expenses to the IRS. As long as the beneficiary incurs sufficient qualified higher education expenses, the distribution remains tax-free to the account owner. The Connecticut Higher Education Trust is committed to keeping your personal information secure. As of July 1, 2009, federal guidelines are as follows: If the student is a dependent, a 529 plan account is considered as the parent's asset (if the account owner is the parent or the dependent student). Can You Give Directly to an Unrelated Child's 529 Plan? California imposes an additional 2.5% state tax penalty on the earnings portion of non-qualified 529 plan distributions. Of course, if income phase-outs prevent the taxpayer from claiming the AOTC, the $4,000 adjustment need not be made. You can always withdraw the money you originally invested, penalty-free. Note: A 529 plan must have a way to make sure that a withdrawal is really used for qualified education expenses. IRS. The caveat here is that your off-campus housing costs can’t be higher than you’d pay to live on campus if you want to use 529 funds. You’ll still have to pay income taxes on gains in these circumstances unless you pay for a qualified expense. Qualified higher education expenses generally include tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for enrollment or attendance at an "eligible" educational institution. Connecticut State Treasurer. Saving for College. 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