Coverdell Education Savings Account
What it is:
How it works (Example):
If the funds are used for educational-related expenses, including tuition, fees, required books, personal computers and/or room and board, the distribution is also tax free. If the distribution amount exceeds the cost of educational expenses or the funds are used for non-educational expenses, the earnings on the account will be considered as regular income and will be taxed accordingly, along with an additional tax of 10%.
Education expenses are not limited to college and university costs, and can include elementary and secondary school, vocational and other qualified post-secondary institutions, as well as higher education.
If the beneficiary does not redeem funds before the age of 30, the account must be distributed within 30 days or be subject to taxation. Taxes may be avoided, however, if the full balance is rolled over into a new Coverdell ESA for another family member.
Why it Matters:
The cost of education is high and continues to rise (particularly where private schools and colleges are concerned). ESAs provide parents and their children the opportunity to start saving for educational expenses when their children are still very young. This way, contributions invested in the account have more time to grow with the benefit of compounding interest.
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