SOURCE: ScholarShare

ScholarShare

April 11, 2012 11:00 ET

Put Your Tax Refund Towards a College Savings Future

Help Your Loved Ones Plan for the Cost of College by Starting a ScholarShare 529 College Savings Account

SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwire - Apr 11, 2012) - ScholarShare, California's 529 college savings program, notes that tax season is the perfect time to start a savings plan. This year, millions of Californians will be processing their federal and state tax returns in April and may soon start to see their tax refunds come in the mail. If you are receiving a refund, a great savings tip is to take that refund and give a child or loved one in your life the opportunity to save for the college of their dreams. It takes only $25 to open a brand new college savings account and investing a tax refund marks a chance to contribute towards future college tuition costs without enduring an added hit to the wallet.

Many families have discovered that opening a 529 college savings account offers significant benefits. Any earnings can grow tax deferred and are federal and California state income tax-free when used to pay for qualified higher education expenses. Establishing a college fund early in life may help maintain your loved ones' ability to pay for higher education without hampering your ability to pay the bills.

ScholarShare has the tools to make it easier than ever for anyone to contribute to their children's or loved ones' future college tuition costs. Families interested in saving for college can check out ScholarShare's new online resource tools on their website. And through the "Give a Gift" option on its website, any gift giver can open an account for children of all ages or contribute to an existing account. College savings specialists are available for phone and in-person consultations at no additional cost to answer all questions.

ScholarShare continues to offer flexible features for anyone interested in starting a college savings plan. Any US citizen, or resident alien with a valid Social Security Number or Taxpayer Identification Number, can open a new account on behalf of a beneficiary. Funds can be used at any eligible educational institution in the nation, and some abroad, for a variety of qualified higher education expenses, including mandatory fees, books, supplies, or even certain room and board costs.

About the ScholarShare 529 College Savings Plan:
ScholarShare accounts may be opened online with as little as $25 per investment portfolio. ScholarShare has no annual account maintenance fee, no income limit and offers a high maximum contribution limit of $350,000. The program currently holds more than $4.2 billion in assets as of 12/31/2011. More than 300,000 accounts have been opened since ScholarShare's inception in 1999. To sign up for an account or for more information about the plan, visit http://www.scholarshare.com/. For information about the ScholarShare Investment Board (SIB), visit www.treasurer.ca.gov/scholarshare. Follow ScholarShare on Twitter at @ScholarShare529.

Named for the section of IRS code under which they were created, 529 plans are highly regarded for their tax-advantaged status. Any earnings on investments can grow tax-deferred. Withdrawals, when used for tuition and other qualified higher education expenses, are federal and state income tax-free.

Consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses before investing in the ScholarShare College Savings Plan. Please visit www.scholarshare.com for a Disclosure Booklet containing this and other information. Read it carefully.

Before investing in a 529 plan, you should consider whether the state you or your Beneficiary reside in or have taxable income in has a 529 plan that offers favorable state income tax or other benefits that are only available if you invest in that state's 529 plan.

The tax information contained herein is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties. Taxpayers should seek advice based on their own particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor. Non‐qualified withdrawals may be subject to federal and state taxes and the additional federal 10% tax. Non-qualified withdrawals may also be subject to an additional 2.5% California tax on earnings.

Investments in the Program are neither insured nor guaranteed and there is the risk of investment loss.

The ScholarShare 529 College Savings Plan Twitter page is managed by the state of California.
TIAA‐CREF Tuition Financing, Inc., Program Manager.

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