Using Your Child's 529 Plan

Qualified tuition plans provide options. Many of you are already aware that contributing to a qualified tuition plan, commonly referred to as a 529 plan, can be a tax-free way to save for your child’s college education. But did you know that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act added a provision that also allows you to use a 529 plan to pay for the enrollment costs for your child to attend an elementary or secondary public, private or religious school?

However, while distributions from a 529 plan for college expenses are unlimited provided they are used to pay for qualified educational expenses, distributions for elementary or secondary education expenses are limited to $10,000 per year per designated beneficiary. Also, some states, as in Illinois for instance, do not allow non-taxable distributions to be used for elementary or secondary education. If money is distributed for this purpose, it is taxed and potentially penalized.