Do not pay extra taxes on your college savings

You're saving for college. Great! But are you sure you're getting all the tax breaks you deserve?

Industry research shows that many investors save for college using a combination of a 529 savings plan and other investment options, like bank savings accounts, CDs, and taxable mutual funds. In fact, nearly half of investors who have a 529 plan have 40% or less of their college savings in their 529 plans.*

If this sounds like you, consider consolidating your accounts and investing only in your 529 plan to help reduce your tax burden.

You get triple advantages

You know the old adage about real estate? It's all about "location, location, location." When it comes to your college savings strategy, you could say it's all about "taxes, taxes, taxes."

Investing in 529 plans provides many tax benefits, including:

  • Tax-deferred growth. Your earnings are deferred from federal and usually state taxes.
  • Tax deductions. Most states let you deduct your 529 plan contributions on your state income tax return, up to your state's limit.**
  • Tax-free withdrawals. In most cases you won't have to pay state or federal income taxes on earnings in your 529 account, as long as you use the money for qualified higher-education expenses.***

When you invest in taxable accounts, you don't enjoy these tax benefits. So saving in your 529 plan can possibly give you more money for college.

Let's say, hypothetically, you saved $10,000 for your child's education, and the account grew to $15,000 by the time you withdrew the money to pay for college. If you saved the money in taxable mutual funds, and your tax rate on investment earnings was 20%, you would have paid $1,000 in taxes. But if you saved that money in a 529 plan, you would have paid $0 in taxes.

529s: Not just for tuition

And don't forget, you can also use your 529 account to pay for room and board, fees, books, and other expenses at a variety of eligible schools, including colleges, universities, and trade or technical schools.

We are here to help

Considering the impact of taxes is a critical part of choosing any investment, but it's especially important to take taxes into account when saving for your child's future.

For help moving money to your 529 account or opening a new account, visit the forms section of or call 888-672-9116, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Eastern time.

Find the form you need

*Source: Strategic Insight 529 Industry Analysis 2015.

**The availability of tax or other benefits may be contingent on meeting other requirements.

***Earnings on nonqualified withdrawals may be subject to federal income tax and a 10% federal penalty tax, as well as state and local income taxes.