What To Do Before Making a 529 Plan Withdrawal

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After years of investing in your children’s college education, you’re ready to reach into your 529 college savings plan and send your kid off to the best years of his or her life. But while making 529 plan withdrawals is as simple as clicking a few buttons, the consequences are complex. Missteps could trigger tax penalties. So you should consider a few points before you tap into your savings. Below, we’ll walk you through the process of making 529 plan withdrawals the right way. You’ve worked hard for your savings. Now it’s time for your 529 plan to work for you and your children.

What to do before making a 529 plan withdrawal

Unlike with a 401(k) plan, you can withdraw as much as you want from your 529 plan at any time. But your 529 plan withdrawal could hit you with severe tax penalties if you use it on nonqualified expenses.

Your 529 college savings plan covers qualified educational expenses tax-free. And while the IRS is generally loose with what it defines as a qualified expense, you should know exactly what you can safely use your 529 plan withdrawals on. View some examples below:

  • Tuition and mandatory fees at eligible schools
  • Books and other materials your beneficiary requires for taking courses
  • Electronic equipment such as computers, printers, educational software and internet access required for enrollment
  • Special needs equipment disabled students need to attend classes