Timing a December 529 Withdrawal

Published on Saturday, November 26, 2022

Photo by Guneet Jassal on Unsplash

In the eyes of many college savers, 529s are simple. Save money regularly while your student ages, then withdraw money as college expenses occur, either paying the school directly from the 529, or paying expenses out-of-pocket and reimbursing from the 529 later. From a casual glance, 529s look a lot like a regular savings account with some additional tax advantages/penalties.

But 529s can be more than that. One of my 529 tips concerns the timing of 529 withdrawals. The tax law states that the total withdrawals shouldn’t exceed the total eligible education expenses in a tax year. For example, a saver could wait until late December to withdraw money for an expense that happened in early January. This can give your savings another year of compounding. I like to call this the “December is for Withdrawals” tip.

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