Senate tax bill would allow 529 savings account money to go toward K-12 tuition

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks with reporters as he walks to the Senate floor between votes on procedural measures leading up to potential tax overhaul legislation at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., December 1, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Lawmakers are hammering out details of the tax reform plan saying that they will have the final version by the end of the week. Insiders say the Senate plans to vote on the bill first, as early as Dec. 18, with the House voting the next day. Republicans are trying to have the bill on the president’s desk for a signature by Dec. 20, but hammering out the details is taking time as members try to get specific provisions in the final draft.

Among the provisions on the table is the only amendment to be accepted on the floor of the Senate version of the bill. The amendment, pushed by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), would allow taxpayers to use 529 tax-free savings accounts for the costs of K-12 private school and for homeschooling expenses, up to $10,000 per child. The amendment was stalled by a 50-50 vote and Vice President Mike Pence broke the tie.

Supporters of the measure say it could be a game-changer for parents, providing immediate tax savings, but also for those who plan to start early with a 529 savings account for later K-12 private or homeschooling costs.

North Carolina offers a 529 tax-free savings program for college expenses, administered by the College Foundation of N.C. Currently, earnings on the accounts aren’t subject to N.C. or federal taxes as long as the money is only used to help pay for Qualified Higher Education Expenses (QHEE) such as tuition, fees, room and board, books, and computers. For more information visit