The plans are meant to encourage long-term savings for college, but South Carolina’s tax treatment of contributions makes them attractive for near-term college expenses as well. It is also a great planning tool even if your child is already in college. You can put $5,000 into the plan on, say, December 31, 2011 and save $350 on SC state taxes ($5,000 x 7% state tax rate). Then you can turn around take that $5,000 out on January 1, 2012 to pay for tuition or room and board expenses for the current semester. The school does not have to be in South Carolina.
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