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Today's educational tax break lessons: 529 Day tips and celebration options

Chalkboard math computation

Happy College Savings Day! Or to be more tax specific, Happy National 529 Day!

May 29, or 5/29 if you go the numerical route, is the day to celebrate 529 plans, even though the tax-favored educational savings plans get their name from the Internal Revenue Code section under which they were created, not the calendar.

Provenance aside, these educational savings accounts grow tax-free as long as you eventually use the money to pay for qualifying school-related expenses. In addition to the usual classroom fees, books, supplies and equipment, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 expanded 529 funds usage.

Now the account money is available for Kindergarten through grade 12 education costs, regardless of whether they are incurred at public, private, or religious schools.

While many parents and students are looking forward to a rapidly approaching summer that will be, in most place, less encumbered by COVID-19 protocols, National 529 Day is a good time to consider adding to or opening one of these accounts.

All 50 states offer some type of 529, into which families can put money for higher education costs. That widespread availability is why today's first  Saturday Shout Out goes to SavingForCollege.com's interactive map that lets you find and compare 529 plans nationwide.

Saturday Shout Out #2 goes to SavingForCollege's article on 8 mistakes to avoid when opening a new 529 plan account.

And finally, the third Saturday Shout Out goes to, you guessed it, SavingforCollege.com, which also found time to compile a list of state plan promotions to celebrate National 529 Day. Yes, some of them started earlier in May and a few are finished. That's on me, not the comprehensive site of college funding.

But here's hoping you can find a few perks today where you are.

And also, here' to getting a better financial handle on your youngsters' educational costs by opening or contributing to a 529 plan any day of the years.

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