Americans for Tax Reform has released a coalition letter in support of expanding 529 education savings accounts as part of the COVID-19 response.
As Americans all across the country are self-isolating, students have been forced to learn from home, a situation that has led to additional costs stemming from the need to implement online and distance learning.
529 savings accounts allow parents to save and invest after-tax income for education costs, and are broadly popular for the middle class. As lawmakers work through proposals to mitigate the damage caused by Coronavirus, expanding 529s should be part of the solution to assist parents and students across the country.
You can read the full letter here or below:
Dear Leader McConnell & Leader McCarthy:
As Congress works toward future legislation to mitigate the damage caused by COVID-19, we urge you to expand 529 education savings accounts so that they can be used for expenses related to learning from home.
Because of the Coronavirus threat, Americans have been forced into self-isolation and schools have been shut down. Tens of millions of students are forced to learn from home, a situation that has led to additional costs stemming from the need to implement online and distance learning. These new costs are exacerbated by the financial hardships that Americans are experiencing across the country due to a lost job, or reduction in work hours.
Congress can help families with these new expenses by expanding 529 education savings accounts to cover expenses incurred from learning from home. These expenses can include curriculum and curricular materials, books or other instructional materials, online educational materials, tuition for tutoring or educational classes outside of the home, and educational therapies for students with disabilities.
529s are already a proven way for families to meet education expenses. These tax advantaged savings accounts allow parents to save and invest after-tax income for education costs. These accounts can currently be used to cover the cost of college and K-12 expenses including tuition, fees, books, supplies, equipment, and computers.
In addition, these accounts offer significant tax reduction. Any money earned in an account can be invested tax free and funds can be withdrawn for qualified expenses tax free. Although contributions are not federally deductible, over 30 states offer a full or partial tax deduction for 529 contributions.
Because of these benefits, 529s are extremely popular amongst middle class American families. Today, there are over 14 million 529 accounts.
There is also support for this proposal in Congress. Congressman Bryan Steil (R-Wis.) recently led a letter signed by 13 lawmakers urging House and Senate leadership to support allowing 529s to be used for home learning expenses.
As you continue working on proposals to address the damage caused by COVID-19, we urge you to support this request. Expanding 529s should be part of the solution to helping Americans get through the pandemic by providing assistance to students and families across the country.
President, Americans for Tax Reform
President, Center for a Free Economy
Founder/Chairman, 60 Plus Association
Saulius “Saul” Anuzis
President, 60 Plus Association
Former Lt. Governor, State of Alaska
Chair, Alaska Center-Right Meeting
Alabama Center-Right Coalition Leader
Lisa B. Nelson
CEO, ALEC Action
President, American Federation for Children
Brent Wm. Gardner
Chief Government Affairs Officer, Americans for Prosperity
Chair, Annapolis Center-Right Coalition Meeting
President, Center for Individual Freedom
President, Consumer Action for a Strong Economy
Senior Fellow, Center for Worker Freedom
President, Citizen Outreach (Nevada)
Andrew F. Quinlan
President, Center for Freedom and Prosperity
Executive Director, Faith & Freedom Coalition
Chairman, Florida Center/Right Coalition
Executive Director, Free California
CEO, Freedom Foundation of Minnesota
President & CEO, Goldwater Institute
President, The Heartland Institute
Executive Director, Heritage Action
President, Independent Women’s Forum
CEO, Independent Women’s Voice
President, Iowans for Tax Relief
Policy Director, Marshall Center for Educational Options
The James Madison Institute
President, Less Government
Chair, Missouri Center-Right Coalition
Fmr. Speaker, Missouri House
Director of Education Policy, Mackinac Center
Jameson Taylor, Ph.D.
Vice President for Policy, Mississippi Center for Public Policy
President, National Taxpayers Union
The Honorable BIll O’Brien
Co-chair, New Hampshire Center Right Coalition
CEO & President, Roughrider Policy Center
Representative Niraj J. Antani
District 42, Ohio House of Representatives
Senior Vice President, Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs
Daniel J. Erspamer
CEO, Pelican Institute for Public Policy
CEO, Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity
President, Rio Grande Foundation
President, School Choice Wisconsin
President, Sutherland Institute
President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance
USA Workforce Coalition
Executive Vice President, Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty