2 To be eligible for favorable tax treatment afforded to the earnings portion of a withdrawal from a Section 529 account, such withdrawal must be used for “qualified higher education expenses,” as defined in the Internal Revenue Code. The earnings portion of a withdrawal that is not used for such expenses is subject to federal income tax and may be subject to a 10% additional federal tax, as well as applicable state and local income taxes. The additional tax is waived under certain circumstances. The beneficiary must be attending an eligible educational institution at least half-time for room and board to be considered a qualified higher education expense, subject to limitations. Institutions must be eligible to participate in federal student financial aid programs. Some foreign institutions are eligible. You can also take a federal income tax-free distribution from a 529 account of up to $10,000 per calendar year per beneficiary from all 529 accounts to help pay for tuition at an eligible elementary or secondary public, private or religious school. Qualified higher education expenses now include expenses for fees, books, supplies and equipment required for the participation of a designated beneficiary in an apprenticeship program registered and certified with the Secretary of Labor under the National Apprenticeship Act and amounts paid as principal or interest on any qualified education loans of the designated beneficiary or sibling of the designated beneficiary, up to a lifetime maximum of $10,000 per individual. Distributions with respect to the loans of a sibling of the designated beneficiary will count towards the lifetime limit of the sibling, not the designated beneficiary. Such repayments may impact student loan interest deductibility. State tax treatment may vary for distributions to pay for tuition in connection with enrollment or attendance at an elementary or secondary public, private or religious school, apprenticeship expenses and payment of qualified education loans.
3 Contributions during 2023 between $17,000 and $85,000 ($34,000 and $170,000 for married couples electing to split gifts) made in one year can be prorated over a five-year period without subjecting you to federal gift tax or reducing your federal unified estate and gift tax credit. If you contribute less than the $85,000 maximum ($170,000 for married couples electing to split gifts), additional contributions can be made without you being subject to federal gift tax, up to a prorated level of $17,000 ($34,000 for married couples electing to split gifts) per year. Gift taxation may result if a contribution, combined with all other gifts qualifying for the annual gift tax exclusion in the year of contribution, exceeds the available annual gift tax exclusion amount remaining for a given beneficiary in the year of contribution. For contributions between $17,000 and $85,000 ($34,000 and $170,000 for married couples electing to split gifts) made in one year, if the account owner dies before the end of the five-year period, a prorated portion of the contribution may be included in their estate for estate tax purposes.
Source: Sallie Mae and Ipsos, “How America Pays for College 2022,” August 2022.
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