Grandchild in college this fall? Paying tuition could save gift and estate taxes.

Posted on 08.20.14

Grandchild in college this fall? Paying tuition could save gift and estate taxes.

college studentNow is the time of year when many young adults are about to head back to college — or to enter their first year of higher education. If you have a grandchild who will be in college this fall and you are concerned about gift and estate taxes, you may want to consider paying some of his or her tuition.

Cash gifts to an individual generally are subject to gift tax unless you apply your $14,000 per beneficiary annual exclusion or use part of your $5.34 million lifetime gift tax exemption (which will reduce the estate tax exemption available at your death dollar-for-dollar). Gifts to grandchildren are generally also subject to the generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax unless, again, you apply your $14,000 annual exclusion or use part of your $5.34 million GST tax exemption.

But tuition payments you make directly to the educational institution are tax-free without using any of your exclusions or exemptions, preserving them for other asset transfers.

This is only one of many strategies for funding college costs while saving gift and estate taxes. Please contact us for more ideas.

Sources: PDI Global, Getty Images

The information contained within this article is provided for informational purposes only and is current as of the date published. Online readers are advised not to act upon this information without seeking the service of a professional accountant, as this article is not a substitute for obtaining accounting, tax, or financial advice from a professional accountant.

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