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Personal Finance Q&A: 529 plans vs. education tax breaks
Personal Finance Q&A: 529 plans vs. education tax breaks

Dear Liz: You recently mentioned in your column that you can't use any of the three education tax breaks — the American Opportunity Credit, the Lifetime Learning Credit or the tuition and fees deduction — for expenses paid with 529 college savings plan money. This has me wondering if those 529 plans are really worth it. Wouldn't you have to have a really large amount invested to have enough earnings to make it worth not taking one of the credits? Answer: If college were cheap, that might be a problem. But most people have far more college expenses than they can write off on their tax returns. The average net price for one year at a four-year college — the...

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