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I'm an ex-pat living in Ohio with a child that we have set up a 529 college savings account for. My parents from the UK want to contribute to my daughter's future and I'm not sure what the most advantageous (for all concerned) way to handle it would be.

Can / should they contribute to her 529? What would be the legal and tax implications of doing such a thing? Or is there a better way for them to help?

  • Not an answer because this is only from the UK side - there would be basically no legal and tax implications from the giving of the gift by the grandparents, unless they die within 7 years of giving the gift in which case it would still count as part of their estate for inheritance tax purposes (in a tapered way, so 1/7 per year). See eg gov.uk/inheritance-tax/gifts – Vicky Dec 18 '17 at 13:30
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https://www.sec.gov/reportspubs/investor-publications/investorpubsintro529htm.html

Contributions. Many states offer tax benefits for contributions to a 529 plan. These benefits may include deducting contributions from state income tax or matching grants. But college savers may only be eligible for these benefits if you invest in a 529 plan sponsored by your state of residence.

I'm not sure if you or the child will get any benefit from the foreign GPs contributing to a 529.

An UGMA custodial account might be better, but I'm not up on the tax implications of international gifts.

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    There isn't a state tax deduction for those out of state contributions, but the rest of the 529 benefits would still exist. – mhoran_psprep Dec 18 '17 at 11:19

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