Previously, 529 plans could be used only to cover costs for college and other post-secondary educational expenses. The new tax bill changes that, allowing use of 529 savings plans to support children’s K-12 education, and authorizes 529 accounts withdrawals for public, private or religious schools. With this expanded flexibility, families not currently setting aside money for education may want to reconsider earmarking some savings toward a 529 plan.
Home schooling families are also allowed to use 529 funds towards educational expenses. The expanded rule limits the benefits to $10,000 per year, per child.
The new legislation also further supports funding of “ABLE” accounts designed for use by people with disabilities. Under the new law, one can roll over 529 plan assets to an ABLE account. Both accounts must have the same beneficiary or a member of the same family, and allows rollovers up to the annual gift exclusion amount, which will be $15,000 as of January 1, 2018.
While not new in this tax bill, higher-income earners may want to note that 529 plan contributions are not subject to any income limits. While other tax-advantaged savings accounts like IRAs and Roth IRAs restrict higher-income families from contributing, 529 plans can be used regardless of income level.