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529 Tips

Give To A Loved One’s College Education This Giving Tuesday

Ate all the leftovers from Thursday’s Thanksgiving dinner? Check.

Took advantage of the sales during Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday? Check, check, and check.

Participated in the global day of giving on Giving Tuesday? Che … wait, what?

Held on Nov. 28, Giving Tuesday marks the start of the charity giving season which lasts through all the holiday celebrations. Giving Tuesday emphasizes meaningful offerings of your time, financial support, or talents for the benefit of others. It’s a day dedicated to giving back.

Many great charity organizations are looking for a helping hand this holiday season as they, in turn, reach out to the less fortunate. Visit your favorite charities’ websites on Giving Tuesday to see how you can fulfill their biggest needs. Through early generous donations, some charities may even offer a match to your donation, stretching your dollars to help even more. If you’d like to investigate a charity, use websites like CharityNavigator, CharityWatch, and GuideStar that rate how effectively charity uses its donations. 

Sometimes, charity begins at home. While you’re thinking where you’d like to help, consider giving towards a loved one’s CollegeAdvantage 529 college savings account — or starting an account. It’s truly a gift that has value and significance.

What’s A 529 Plan?

A 529 plan is a college savings account that grows tax free, and withdrawals taken for qualified higher education expenses are free from federal and state income tax. The money in Ohio’s 529 plan can be used nationwide at any federally accredited educational institutions – whether for an associate, bachelor’s, graduate or vocational degree.

How Much Can I Contribute?

You don’t have to give big to add to a CollegeAdvantage 529 plan. Contributions start as low as $25 (a Fifth Third Certificate of Deposit requires a $500 minimum contribution) so you have maximum flexibility in contributing the amount with which you are most comfortable. You can also set up an automatic monthly amount to be transferred into your loved one’s 529 account to show your continual support for their college education plans.

How Can I Give A Gift Towards A College Education?

 If you aren’t a 529 account owner but would like to give the gift of college education to a loved one’s 529 account, there are a variety of ways to do so! You can open an account for the child. You can also ask the parents for a Ugift code for their child’s CollegeAdvantage Direct Plan account. The Ugift code permits you to make online contributions to a CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 plan account without needing the actual account number. Once you have the code, visit Ugift529.com to make your electronic contribution securely from your bank account. You can continue to use the same code to invest in your loved one’s college education throughout the years. It’s that easy. It’s also easy for the parents to request an Ugift code; they just need to log in to their account and click on Ugift.

Are There Tax Advantages For Gift Givers?

As an Ohio resident, you are eligible to deduct up to $2,000 of your 529 plan contributions per beneficiary, per year, from your state taxable income. However, you can contribute even more! Contributions over $2,000 per beneficiary, per year, can be carried forward to deduct from future tax years until all of your contributions are fully subtracted from your state taxable income. To make sure your contributions have been received for 2017, please be sure to have them in good standing with CollegeAdvantage before 4 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 29.

If you are able and to want to frontload a loved one’s 529 plan, you can invest up to $14,000 ($28,000 for married couples) per beneficiary without incurring any federal gift-tax consequences. You can even contribute up to $70,000 per beneficiary in a single year ($140,000 for married couples) and take advantage of five years’ worth of tax-free gifts at one time. For more information, consult your tax adviser or estate-planning attorney.

Celebrate the spirit of Giving Tuesday at any point this holiday season by contributing to a 529 account, or even start one for a loved one. CollegeAdvantage is your plan, your way.

Posted on November 28, 2017

Ohio Tuition Trust Authority

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