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CRS — Tax-Preferred College Savings Plans: An Introduction to 529 Plans

November 21, 2012

Tax-Preferred College Savings Plans: An Introduction to 529 Plans (PDF)

Source: Congressional Research Service (via OpenCRS)

In the face of the rising cost of higher education, families may consider a variety of ways to finance their children’s college expenses. In order to make higher education more affordable, Congress has enacted legislation that provides favorable tax treatment for college savings. Among the options families may choose to save for college, they may consider using tax-advantaged qualified tuition programs (QTPs), also known as 529 plans. This report provides an overview of the mechanics of 529 plans and examines the specific tax advantages of these plans. For an overview of all tax benefits for higher education, see CRS Report R41967, Higher Education Tax Benefits: Brief Overview and Budgetary Effects, by Margot L. Crandall-Hollick.

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