During tax season, keep college savings in mind

Published 9:09 am Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Special to The Post-Searchlight

With the April 17 tax deadline just around the corner, many families will be focused on financial planning over the next couple of weeks. One of the most important financial decisions a family can make is to save for their loved one’s future college expenses, and the Path2College 529 Plan provides Georgia families with a tax-advantaged opportunity to invest in their children’s future.

Georgia residents who contribute before the 2012 tax deadline — Tuesday, April 17 — are eligible to claim a state income tax deduction on contributions of up to $2,000 per year, per beneficiary. Georgia taxpayers are not required to itemize deductions to take advantage of this tax deduction. (Transfers from another 529 plan are not eligible for the deduction. Recapture provisions apply.)

The Path2College 529 Plan delivers additional benefits and tax advantages in preparing for future college funding, including:

• Any earnings in the Path2College 529 Plan are federal and Georgia income tax-deferred;

• Withdrawals for qualified higher education are federal and Georgia income tax-free;

• Contributions to the Path2College 529 Plan may reduce the taxable value of the account owner’s estate. (Consult your tax advisor about your own particular situation.)

The Path2College 529 Plan is a state of Georgia program that helps families prepare for the future costs of college tuition and other qualified expenses, such as fees, books, and certain room and board costs for colleges in Georgia and nationwide. The plan is easy to use and understand, with no sign-up, maintenance or third-party sales fees — just a low annual asset-based management fee, and an account can be opened online with as little as $25.

Path2College 529 Plan account assets can be used at virtually any college or university in the country. The plan offers seven investment options and participants can arrange for automatic contributions to their accounts to be drawn directly from a bank account or made through payroll deduction with participating employers.

The Path2College 529 Plan was recently rated “Above Average” by Morningstar, and has retained a 4.5 cap out of a 5-cap rating from SavingforCollege.com for over eight years.

For more information on Georgia’s Path2College 529 Plan and its tax advantages or how to successfully start, manage or contribute to a Path2College 529 college savings account, call (877) 424-4377 or visit www.Path2College529.com.