What are the advantages of a Coverdell ESA?

Tax-deferral can have a dramatic effect on the growth of an investment. With the new Coverdell ESA (formerly known as the Education IRA) your contributions can grow tax-deferred and distributed income tax-free as long as distributions are used for qualified education expenses. These costs can include school uniforms, computers, and transportation for elementary or secondary school, public, private or religious.

An annual limit of $2,000 per year for any individual under age 18 applies. Once the beneficiary reaches age 18 they can take control of the account but funds must be used by the time the beneficiary turns 30 years of age or transferred to a younger sibling.

The ability to contribute to a Coverdell ESA is phased out for single filers with Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) between $95,000 and $110,000 and for joint filers with MAGI between $190,000 and $220,000. The annual contribution deadline is April 15 of the following year.

Savings and Assumptions
Annual savings amount (limit $2,000) ($) 
Number of years contributions are made (limit 18) 
Before-tax return on savings (%)help
Marginal tax bracket (%)help
The information provided here is to assist you in planning for your future. Any analysis is a result of the information you have provided. Material discussed is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only and it is not to be construed as tax, legal, or investment advice. Although the information has been gathered from sources believed to be reliable, please note that individual situations can vary therefore, the information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice.

Any rate of return entered into the interactive calculator to project future values should be a reasonable average return for the period. Rates of return will vary over time, and generally the higher the rate of return the higher the degree of risk.

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