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WIBC: Tax Bill Includes Expansion of School Choice

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Republicans’ tax cut bill includes a provision to help you send your kids to private school.

The bill allows you to use 529 CollegeChoice accounts to pay for K-12 expenses as well. Your interest on those accounts is tax-free as long as you spend the money on education.

EdChoice president Robert Enlow says it’ll give middle and upper-income parents more options, though it’s unlikely to help lower-income families — they’re less likely to be able to set the money aside to get the accounts started. He says he expects parents to take advantage of the option in similar numbers to those who use 529 accounts to pay for their kids’ college.

Indiana Congressman Luke Messer has introduced bills for five years to allow the expanded use of 529 plans. Texas Senator Ted Cruz added the provision to the tax plan — it stayed in the final bill, except for a clause which would have covered homeschoolers. That’s one of two provisions stripped out by the Senate at the last minute because of procedural rules.

The money can also be used for public-school expenses such as book rental.