You want to help your grandchild or friend’s kid on their path to college — excellent! But it can be difficult to know whether it’s better to contribute to an existing plan or open a new account. You want to know the pros and cons — like how does your grandchild or friend’s child get the money or what happens if they don’t go to school? And what are the tax implications for your estate? The MI 529 Advisor Plan accounts for all this and more.
Why Save with the MI 529 Advisor Plan
With the MI 529 Advisor Plan, you decide how to help. If you want to own the plan, you don’t need to be a parent — anyone can start an account for anyone else. You’ll control how the money’s invested and how it gets spent. Since there’s no age limit attached to a 529 plan, you get more options. Say you opened an account for your grandson but he doesn’t end up going to school. You can let the funds sit until he does, use them yourself to take those community college writing courses you’ve been meaning to, or transfer the funds to another grandchild.
On the other hand, if you just want to support an existing MI 529 Advisor Plan account, anyone can make a gift contribution to anyone else’s plan. Either way, the earnings portion, if any, on that investment can grow free from federal and state income tax. Qualified withdrawals come untaxed as well, and you can spend the money on a lot more than tuition, including: room and board, computers and related technology expenses, supplies, books, and equipment.
What the MI 529 Advisor Plan Means for Estate & Legacy Planning
You might find you want to make a larger donation to your grandchild’s account but you’re hesitant to commit. What will it mean for you come tax time? What are the implications to your estate? Don’t worry, you can give with confidence and it won’t adversely impact your tax situation. In fact, there’s no federal gift tax on contributions up to $15,000 per year for single filers and $30,000 for married filers.
Contributions are generally considered completed gifts for federal transfer tax purposes and are, therefore, potentially subject to federal gift tax. Generally, if a contributor’s contributions to Accounts for a Designated Beneficiary, together with all other gifts by the contributor to the Designated Beneficiary, do not exceed the “annual exclusion” amount of $15,000 per year (or $30,000 for a married couple), no federal gift tax will be imposed on the contributor for gifts to the Designated Beneficiary during that year.
If you wish to make a larger contribution, there’s an option to gift amounts up to $75,000 for single filers and up to $150,000 for married filers if pro-rated over 5 years. This means you could make a one-time gift equivalent to the 5-year amount and it could all qualify for the federal gift tax exclusion. Consult your tax advisor.
Gifting — Make a Contribution to an Existing Account
Kids grow out of clothes so fast. Toys are lost and discarded. Books may or may not be read. But making a gift contribution to a child’s college education will last a lifetime. There are so many perfect opportunities to give: at birthdays, holidays, graduations, and other important occasions. And making a gift contribution is easy. To make an eGift to an account download a gift certificate form and mail it in.