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Saving for college with START Saving Program has tax benefits

June 14, 2010

BATON ROUGE – Louisiana families can deduct thousands of dollars per year from their Louisiana taxable income when they use the state’s START Saving Program to save money for college.

START is the Student Tuition and Revenue Trust program, a qualified tuition plan under Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. The Louisiana Department of Revenue is partnering with the Louisiana Office of Student Financial Assistance (LOSFA) to make families aware that START account deposits are not subject to state taxes and START account earnings are not subject to state or federal taxes when used to pay for qualified higher education expenses which include tuition, fees, books, supplies, equipment, room and board and expenses for “special needs”.

START deposits may also be excluded from Louisiana taxable income. An account owner filing a single return can deduct up to $2,400 per year per beneficiary. Account owners filing jointly can deduct up to $4,800 per year per beneficiary.

The minimum deposit on a START account is only $10. Deposits can be made by payroll deduction, automatic debit, or direct payment.

For more information about saving for college with Louisiana’s START Saving Program, visit www.startsaving.la.gov or call 800-259-5626, ext. 1012.