Computers and 529 Plans

The PATH Act of 2015, aka the budget deal signed last week, included a bonus for families of college students: computers, software and peripherals are now Qualified Higher Education Expenses eligible for purchase via 529 plan funds. Previously computers had to be required by the school in order to be eligible. (One could of course argue that regardless of whether colleges officially require computers, it would be virtually impossible to complete one’s studies without them, but that still didn’t make them a qualified expense unless the school put it in writing.)

For those of you doing last-minute Christmas shopping for your high school senior, put a voucher for a laptop under the tree and wait until Jan. 1 to purchase the real thing if you want to use 529 funds to pay for it.

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