Tomorrow’s opportunities come from saving today. That’s why you’re setting money aside for higher education in the years to come. And with an investment in CollegeCounts, you can enjoy several benefits today: tax advantages, flexibility, low plan costs, and investment options from quality fund families.
The CollegeCounts 529 Fund offers attractive tax advantages including tax-deferred growth and tax-free withdrawals for qualified college expenses.1 In addition, contributions by Alabama taxpayers are eligible for a state income tax deduction of up to $5,000 per individual ($10,000 if married filing jointly).2 Over time, these tax advantages, along with your investment dollars, can help provide additional savings for college. For additional information see the Tax Q&A.
1Withdrawals used to pay for qualified higher education expenses are free from federal and Alabama state income tax. Qualified higher education expenses include tuition, fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for enrollment or attendance; certain room and board expenses incurred by students who are enrolled at least half-time; the purchase of computer or peripheral equipment, computer software, or Internet access and related services, if used primarily by the beneficiary during any of the years the beneficiary is enrolled at an eligible educational institution; and certain expenses for special needs services needed by a special needs beneficiary. The earnings portion of a non-qualified withdrawal is subject to federal income tax and 10% federal penalty tax. In addition, Alabama provides in the event of a non-qualified withdrawal an amount that must be added back to the income of the contributing taxpayer. The amount to be added back will be the amount of the non-qualified withdrawal plus 10% of the amount withdrawn.
2The amount contributed by an Alabama taxpayer during a tax year is deductible from Alabama income in an amount not to exceed $5,000 for a single return or $10,000 for a joint return for that tax year. If you also contribute to another Alabama 529 account, your maximum total deduction on all contributions is still $5,000 per year ($10,000 for married couples filing jointly). Rollovers to another state’s 529 plan or nonqualified withdrawals may be subject to recapture.
When you invest with CollegeCounts, as an account owner you control the account. You have the ability to name or change the beneficiary, select and change investments, direct withdrawals, and manage your account online.
CollegeCounts is proud to present a wide variety of investment options. Investors select from 3 age-based options, 6 target portfolios, or 25 individual fund portfolios. These investment options are from a number of well-respected mutual fund families including T. Rowe Price, American Century, BlackRock, PIMCO, and Fidelity.
All portfolios benefit from the investment oversight of Wilshire Associates, a leading global investment consulting firm that provides CollegeCounts with portfolio design, due diligence, and ongoing monitoring services. Wilshire Associates originated the now-named Dow Jones Wilshire 5000SM Composite Index and other market indexes and has been helping individuals achieve their investment goals for more than 30 years.
Put the flexibility of this plan to work for you, and start saving for college today. With no required minimum or ongoing contributions and high maximums, the CollegeCounts 529 Fund is a great way for you to reach your college savings goals. Current account owners can also set up an automatic investment plan to make saving more convenient.
The CollegeCounts 529 Fund makes it easy for friends and family to help give the gift of a college education. Parents, grandparents, and others can make contributions on behalf of the beneficiary to celebrate birthdays and special occasions.
When it’s time to pursue higher education, the money you’ve saved with CollegeCounts can be used nationwide at most accredited colleges and universities as well as trade schools and graduate schools. All public and private postsecondary educational institutions that participate in the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid programs are eligible. Find out whether the school you have in mind is on the searchable list of eligible institutions.