Aid and Taxes

Physician's Money Digest, October15 2004, Volume 11, Issue 19

Some of the financial aid consequencesof putting away money for collegein advance aren't pretty, but theyshouldn't deter you from saving. Still,the fact remains that for a family withan income of $100,000 (most doctors),every after-tax dollar put into a UniformTransfer to Minors Act (UTMA) accountwill cost $1.94 in college financialaid, according to a recent HarvardUniversity study. That's because UTMAaccounts are in the child's name, and thecollege aid formula takes the child'sassets first before looking at the parents'assets. Aid loss for 529 plans is muchlower, at $0.21 per after-tax dollar. Ifcollege for your child is in the distantfuture, you should also be aware thatthe financial aid formula and tax lawsapplying to 529 plans will most likelychange, possibly several times, beforeyour child enters college.