What are the best 529 plans 2019?

Here are five of the top 529 plans:

  • Ohio’s 529 plan, CollegeAdvantage.
  • New York’s 529 plan, Direct Plan.
  • Wisconsin’s 529 plan, Edvest.
  • West Virginia’s plan, Smart 529 WV Direct College Savings Plan.
  • California’s plan, ScholarShare 529.

What happens to 529 if child doesn’t go to college?

If assets in a 529 are used for something other than qualified education expenses, you’ll have to pay both federal income taxes and a 10 percent penalty on the earnings. (An interesting side note is that if the beneficiary gets a full scholarship to college, the penalty for taking the cash is waived.)

Can I use 529 to buy a house?

Mortgage Payments Do Not Qualify as Room and Board Even if the student were to buy the home, they still can’t use 529 plan money to make the mortgage payments. A mortgage payment is a payment on a loan and not a payment of housing costs. As such, it is not a qualified higher education expense.

Can I use 529 for rent?

Some 529 plans will let you make a payment directly to an off-campus landlord. You cannot use a 529 plan distribution to pay the mortgage on a house or condo in which the student lives, but parents may be able to charge the student rent on this home. It is not recommended, however.

Can I start a 529 plan for my grandchildren?

Can I open an education savings account for a grandchild? Yes, you most certainly can open a 529 account as a grandparent — you can generally name anyone as a beneficiary of a 529 account. These accounts can be a useful financial tool for both grandparents and their grandchildren.

Can 529 money be used for food?

Money from a 529 account can be used for major post-secondary education costs such as: Required tuition, fees, books, supplies and equipment. Certain room and board expenses, which may include food purchased directly through the college or university (for the stipulations of off-campus living — see below)

What grade should you start applying for college?

Admissions experts say that, generally, a student should begin the application process by the start of their senior year of high school. While they note colleges may impose different deadlines, most applications for regular fall admission will come due by January.

Can I use 529 funds to buy a computer?

Can you use 529 funds to buy a computer? Savings can indeed be used to buy a computer or pay for internet access as a qualified higher-education expense. An iPad used for college would also qualify, as would any related peripheral equipment, such as a printer.

How much can you write off for 529 contributions?

Maximum Annual State Income Benefit

State Benefit Type Tax Benefit
Arkansas taxParity I $5,000 J $10,000
California neutral This state offers no tax deduction for 529 plans
Colorado other Full contribution amount, to the extent of the contributor’s Colorado taxable income
Connecticut other I $5,000 J $10,000

What is the best way to save for college?

Choose a direct-sold 529 plan with low fees, ideally one with a state income tax break on contributions. Use an age-based or enrollment-date asset allocation within the 529 plan to balance risk and return. 529 plans are the best way to save for college.

Are 529 plans worth it?

529 plans typically offer you unsurpassed tax breaks. Earnings in a 529 plan grow tax-free and are not taxed when they’re withdrawn. This means that however much your money grows in a 529, you’ll never have to pay taxes on it. However, you do not get to deduct your contributions on your federal income tax return.

How much can a grandparent contribute to a 529 plan?

You can front-load a 529 plan (giving 5 years’ worth of annual gifts of up to $15,000 at once, for a total of up to $75,000 per person, per beneficiary) without having to pay a gift tax or chip away at the lifetime gift tax exclusion.

Can I use a 529 to pay off student loans?

Under the SECURE Act of 2019, plan holders can use 529 plans to pay for tuition and qualified expenses of apprenticeship programs and can withdraw a lifetime maximum of $10,000 to pay down student loan debt.

Why a 529 plan is a bad idea?

A 529 plan could mean less financial aid. The largest drawback to a 529 plan is that colleges consider it when deciding on financial aid. This means your child could receive less financial aid than you might otherwise need.

Is it better for a parent or grandparent to own a 529 plan?

Parent-owned 529 plans, however, are not considered income to the student, but rather assets set aside for education. Because of this distinction, grandparent-owned 529 plans can reduce the amount of financial aid that a student is able to receive.

Do you get a tax deduction for contributing to a 529 plan?

Never are 529 contributions tax deductible on the federal level. Earnings from 529 plans are not subject to federal tax and generally not subject to state tax when used for qualified education expenses such as tuition, fees, books, as well as room and board.

Can 529 be used for high school expenses?

As of 2019, qualified expenses include tuition expenses for elementary, middle, and high schools (private, public, or religious). Although the money may come from multiple 529 accounts, only $10,000 total can be spent each year per beneficiary on elementary, middle, or high school tuition.

How do you plan for college?

11th Grade: College Planning Timeline

  1. Stay on track with your classes and grades.
  2. Take the PSAT.
  3. Evaluate your education options.
  4. Make a college list.
  5. Continue gathering college information.
  6. Organize a testing plan.
  7. Make sure you’re meeting any special requirements.
  8. Stay involved with extracurricular activities.

Can a grandparent contribute to a 529 plan and claim a tax deduction?

Yes, 529 plans accept third-party contributions, so a grandparent may contribute to a grandchild’s 529 plan account, regardless of who owns the account. This 5-year gift-tax averaging allows you to front-load contributions into a 529 plan without exceeding the $15,000 annual gift exclusion.

What can you do with leftover 529 money?

Here are six common strategies for spending leftover 529 plan money, and how to minimize the potential consequences of each:

  • Transfer the 529 plan funds to another beneficiary.
  • Save the 529 plan funds for your child’s future educational needs.
  • Use the money to make student loan payments.
  • Save the 529 plan for a grandchild.

How much can I put in 529 per year?

There are no annual contribution limits on how much you can contribute to a 529 plan. However, contributions to a 529 plan count as gifts for gift-tax purposes. Contributions beyond the annual gift tax exclusion may be subject to gift taxes.

Do I need receipts for 529 expenses?

You don’t need to provide the 529 plan with evidence that you will be using the money for eligible expenses, but you do need to keep the receipts, canceled checks and other paperwork in your tax records (see When to Toss Tax Records for more information), in case the IRS later asks for evidence that the money was used …

How much can a grandparent contribute to a 529?

Beginning in 2018, each parent and grandparent will be able to contribute up to $15,000 annually per child and exclude these contributions from gift taxes. For example, a set of grandparents who are married, can make gifts of $30,000 to their grandchild’s 529 plan each year with no estate or gift tax consequences.

Can I buy a car with 529 funds?

You cannot use a 529 plan to buy or rent a car. Transportation costs, including the costs of purchasing and maintaining a car, are considered non-qualified expenses.

What’s better than a 529 plan?

Custodial UGMA and UTMA accounts can be used for purposes other than education. Roth IRAs have tax advantages similar to 529 plans and they don’t count as assets for financial aid purposes.

Which state has the best 529 program?

Ohio