Celebrate College Savings Month in September with an Oklahoma 529 account
Oklahoma Families Could Save More with Front and Back Tax Benefits
By State Treasurer Todd Russ
published October 1, 2023
Oklahoma City (October 1, 2023) — Student academic success is top of mind for many Oklahoma families as students have settled into school routines. I encourage Oklahoma families to take the next step in tax-advantaged saving for education this September, which is aptly recognized as College Savings Month across the nation, and set a game plan for the education path ahead.
It’s understandable if the thought of saving for future education seems overwhelming. That is where Oklahoma 529 can help with unique tax advantages such as 100% tax-deferred growth on any earnings and tax-free withdrawals for future qualified education expenses for your child, grandchild and loved ones. From Oklahoma 529’s launch in 2000 through June 30, 2023, Oklahoma 529 has helped more than 87,000 students with their educational savings needs.
Learn about the benefits of Oklahoma 529 and start building a strong foundation for your loved one’s future educational journey. As College Savings Month comes to a close, here are four ideas to help Oklahoma families start on the path toward saving:
- Open an Account: Oklahoma 529 accounts are easy to open and you can start with as little as $25. Accounts provide owners triple tax benefits: a state tax deduction for Oklahoma taxpayers up to $20,000 if married filing jointly ($10,000 filing single) for contributions made into an Oklahoma 529, state and federal tax-deferred growth of any earnings, and tax-free withdrawals for education expenses such as tuition, books, computers and living expenses at colleges, universities, CareerTech, and graduate or professional schools. You can even use Oklahoma 529 to pay for K-12 tuition up to $10,000 annually per student.1
- Ask for Gifts at Holidays, Birthdays and Special Occasions: When asked for gift ideas, remember the gift of Oklahoma 529. Grandparents, aunts and uncles and friends can all join in and help save for a child’s education at holidays, birthdays, and special occasions. Oklahoma tax payers may qualify for the state tax deduction.
- Save Consistently: Once an Oklahoma 529 account is opened, remember to contribute regularly to maximize your tax benefits. Some families set up recurring contributions from a bank account, while others may prefer to make payroll direct deposits. You can even encourage your student to contribute to the account that eventually will benefit them – through money earned from a job or allowance.
- Enter the Bright Future Sweepstakes: Oklahoma 529 launched the Bright Future Sweepstakes that gives six Oklahoma families $529 to start an Oklahoma 529 account or add to their existing account. The sweepstakes runs through Dec. 31, 2023, with one winner drawn each month. Oklahoma families may go to Oklahoma529.com/brightfuture for prize details, official rules and to enter.2
About Oklahoma 529
Since 2000, Oklahoma 529 has been helping Oklahoma families save for education expenses. Account owners can choose from 16 investment options, access easy-to-use savings tools, and take advantage of in-state tax benefits for Oklahoma taxpayers. More than $947 million has been redeemed from Oklahoma 529 accounts for higher education as of June 30, 2023. Oklahoma 529 funds may be used to pay for college, university, K-12 tuition up to $10,000 annually per student, CareerTech, community college, graduate schools and apprenticeships registered and certified with the Secretary of Labor under the National Apprenticeship Act.
- To learn more about the Oklahoma 529, its investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses please see the Plan Description at oklahoma529.com. Read it carefully. Investments in the Plan are neither insured nor guaranteed and there is the risk of investment loss. TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. (TFI), Plan Manager. TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC, Member FINRA, distributor and underwriter for the Oklahoma 529. Check with your home state to learn if it offers tax or other benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds or protection from creditors for investing in its own 529 plan. If the funds aren't used for qualified higher education expenses, a federal 10% penalty tax on earnings (as well as federal and state income taxes) may apply. Consult your legal or tax professional for tax advice.
- 1Withdrawals for tuition expenses at a public, private or religious elementary, middle, or high school, registered apprenticeship programs, and student loans can be withdrawn free from federal and Oklahoma income tax. If you are not an Oklahoma taxpayer, these withdrawals may include recapture of tax deduction, state income tax as well as penalties. You should talk to a qualified professional about how tax provisions affect your circumstances.↩
- 2Visit Oklahoma529.com/brightfuture for terms and conditions. Promotion ends Dec. 31, 2023. No purchase necessary/void where prohibited. The Bright Future Sweepstakes is sponsored by TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc.↩