Skip to main content

Smart Savers Blog

Saving for K-12 Education with Virginia529


Saving for K-12 Education with Virginia529

In 2017, Congress passed a wide-ranging tax reform bill (H.R. 1) that expanded the approved use of 529 savings plans to include certain public, private or religious K-12 tuition expenses. Withdrawals of up to $10,000 per beneficiary per year for tuition may be taken as a qualified expense from a 529 plan.  Note: The costs of textbooks, room and board, supplies and other expenses for K-12 education are not covered and homeschooling expenses are currently not considered qualified higher education expenses.


Does Virginia529 offer a separate investment option for K-12 expenses?

Virginia529 offers a wide variety of portfolios to help you reach your savings goals, but at this time has no plans to open a new portfolio option. Target enrollment portfolio options are designed to coincide with higher education savings timelines and may not be appropriate for K–12 time horizons. Related: Explore Investment Options


Do I need to open separate accounts for K-12 and college expenses?

It is not required to open separate accounts to use for both K-12 and college purposes, but some savers may consider doing so based on their specific needs.


Are qualified distributions, also called withdrawals, for K-12 tuition expenses taxable?

Withdrawals for K- 12 tuition expenses are free from Federal and Virginia state taxes. Learn more about the benefit of tax-free earning. You may also consult your tax professional for more information.


How will owning an Invest529 account affect my K-12 school financial aid package?

Financial aid packages for K-12 purpose are typically decided by the individual school. It is best to consult with your public, private or religious K-12 school to determine whether owning a 529 plan will affect your child’s financial aid package for their precollege education.


What records do I keep to show my K-12 withdrawal is an eligible expense?

As with any 529 plan withdrawal, it is the account holder’s responsibility to ensure they are keeping adequate records and receipts to provide to the IRS in the event of an audit. Please review the Invest529 Withdrawal Guide for further information.


If I’m an account holder interested in taking a qualified distribution/withdrawal to pay for K-12 tuition expenses, how do I initiate making a withdrawal from my account?

If you are the account holder simply log into your account, click on “Manage My Accounts” then “Withdraw Funds” to be prompted through the online withdrawal process.  You can also review the Withdrawal Guide for instructions.


How long does it take after I contribute money before I can request a withdrawal from my account?

The funds you are requesting must be in good standing to be processed. Typically, funds in good standing are available for withdrawal five business days after the contribution is made.  


What are the payment and payee options for K-12 withdrawals?

For K-12 withdrawals, Virginia529 can provide the withdrawn funds directly to the K-12 institution. Payments cannot be made to a third-party tuition payment service.


Can I set up automatic payments to schools?

Currently, an automatic payment option to any K-12 or post-secondary higher education institution is not available. 


Are my contributions tax deductible?

Virginia529 account owners who are Virginia taxpayers may deduct contributions up to $4,000 per account per year with an unlimited carryforward to future tax years, subject to certain restrictions. Those age 70 and above may deduct the entire amount contributed to a Virginia529 account in one year.


Who is the 1099 issued to at tax return time since my child will be a minor?

If 529 funds go directly to a school or beneficiary, the 1099-Q is issued in the name of child. This includes instances when the beneficiary is a minor.

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

Review and compare historical returns of Invest529 portfolios.