A 529 plan is a good way to save and invest for your child’s education. The after-tax money you put into your child’s 529 plan gets to compound tax-free, just like a Roth IRA retirement account. Further, when you use the money to pay for qualified college education expenses like tuition and books, the money is not taxed. The question some ask is whether it’s good to superfund a 529 plan.
Thanks to the 2017 Tax Cut And Jobs Act, $10,000 a year from the 529 plan can also be used to pay for grade school tuition as well. The added flexibility is nice for parents who are considering sending their kids to private school. Tuition can range from between $10,000 to $60,000 a year.
Normally, the maximum each parent is recommended contribute to a 529 plan is based on the maximum gift tax exclusion amount. This amount is $15,000 per parent per year in 2020 versus $10,000 in 1997.
The $15,000 per year is not limited by parent. It is limited by person. In other words, if you get two sets of grandparents to also contribute $15,000 each, along with two parents, that’s six people who can contribute a total of $90,000 a year! If this happens, your child will become a 529 plan millionaire in no time.
Just note, if you give more than $15,000 in cash or assets (for example, stocks, land, a new car) in a year to any one person, you’re supposed to file a gift tax return. You don’t actually have to pay a gift tax since you’re still living. You’re also not going to be sent to prison, like the parents who were caught bribing university officials to help their children gain admission. So don’t worry.