Thursday, December 25, 2013
 

 

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Parents urged to plan ahead for college

ALBANY - As the gift-giving season culminates and the New Year quickly approaches, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli highlighted New York’s 529 College Savings Program, Direct Plan, as an option for parents and families to help offset college costs and provide up to $10,000 in New York State tax-deductions annually.
       
“As the cost of college tuition, room and board, books and supplies continue to rise, parents should explore every option available to make their child’s educational dreams a reality,” said DiNapoli. “Investing in a 529 plan is an opportunity to give a meaningful gift that can provide long lasting benefits.  For as little as $25, anyone can open up a 529 college savings plan and jumpstart a child’s future this holiday season.”

College savings plans date back to 1996 when Congress created qualified tuition programs under Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code and have become one of the top college saving options. The Office of the State Comptroller and the New York State Higher Education Services Corp. (HESC) administer New York’s 529 College Savings Program.

The Direct Plan features a broad array of investment options, including three age-based investment options that automatically rebalance the assets in the portfolio to become more conservative as the child approaches college age.

Alternatively, investors can select individual portfolios by assembling a customized portfolio using 13 individual investment options, which are static portfolios that investors may choose based on their risk tolerance. As with any investment, returns are not guaranteed.

New Yorkers can deduct annual contributions made to their 529 College Savings Program accounts on their 2013 return if they are made by Dec. 31. New York taxpayers who are account owners can contribute to the Direct Plan and deduct up to $5,000 from their New York State taxable income, and married couples filing jointly can deduct up to $10,000 each year. Qualified withdrawals are exempt from both federal and state income taxes.

For more information about the 529 program visit: www.osc.state.ny.us/college/index.htm

To read the program disclosure, visit: www.osc.state.ny.us/college/529release_0513.pdf.