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Can I Put My College Refund Back into My 529 Plan?

In 2020, when colleges and universities across the country shifted into online instruction in an effort to stymie the spread of COVID-19, families received refunds for some expenses that 529 funds were used to cover.

These unusual circumstances led many to ask: Is it possible to place the money back into my 529 account while avoiding any potential tax ramifications?

Yes, funds can be redeposited into Virginia529 accounts provided these guidelines are followed:

  • the funds you wish to redeposit must have been refunded to you by your beneficiary’s eligible educational institution. Please note that refunds from K-12 schools are NOT eligible for recontribution.
  • you must redeposit the refund into a 529 account for the same beneficiary from which the original distribution was taken
  • the portion of the refund you wish to redeposit must be a refund of qualified higher educational expenses only and
  • your redeposit cannot exceed the amount of the refunded amount.

Customers should complete the Redeposit Request form and upload it online through Virginia529's secure portal or send it with payments by mail. Processing may take up to 30 days. 

This provision does not include refunds from K-12 schools as they are not eligible for recontribution.

As the account owner, you must keep track of all the records showing the date of the refund from the eligible educational institution and then its redeposit into the 529 plan. Additionally, you will need to maintain all documentation linking the redeposit to the refund from the eligible educational institution. You are responsible to make sure this transaction meets the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requirements and is in good order to avoid possible tax consequences.

Should you have questions concerning this change, you may contact Virginia529 or your tax professional. Consult with your tax adviser regarding the tax implications of any refunds and/or redeposits.


Complete the Redeposit Request form

Resources to help you learn

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to the most common questions about 529 plans.

Smart Savers Academy

Tune in to a live episode and ask questions of the presenter, or watch a previously recorded webinar below.

Invest529 Portfolio Performance

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