Savings Options Comparisons

Savings Options Comparison

Arizona Family College Savings Program 529 Plan Coverdell Educational Savings Accounts Qualifying U.S.Savings Bonds UGMA/UTMA Mutual Funds
Federal Income Tax Non-deductible contributions: federal and Arizona income tax-free when used for qualified higher education expenses; Arizona income tax deduction up to $2,000 (single) or $4,000 (joint) Non-deductible contributions; federal income tax-free when used for qualified higher education expenses, or qualified K-12 expenses Tax-deferred for federal; tax-free for state; certain post-1989 EE and I bonds may be redeemed federal tax-free for qualified higher education expenses Earnings and gains taxed to minor; first $1,000 of unearned income is tax exempt; unearned income over $2,000 for certain children through age 23  is taxed at parents rate Earnings and gains taxed in year realized; special lower tax rates for certain dividends and capital gains
Federal Gift Tax Treatment Contributions treated as completed gifts; use $14,000 annual exclusion, or up to $70,000 with 5-year election Contributions treated as completed gifts; use $14,000 annual exclusion. 5-year election only available under special circumstances No gift involved; qualifying bonds must be owned by the parent Transfers treated as completed gift; use $14,000 annual gift exclusion No gift involved; direct payments of tuition are not considered gifts
Federal Estate Tax Treatment
Value removed from
donor's gross estate;
partial inclusion for
death during a 5-year
election period
Value removed from donor's gross estate Value included in bondholder’s gross estate Value removed from donor's gross estate unless donor remains as custodian Value included in the owner's gross estate
Maximum Investment
$431,000 per
beneficiary effective October 1, 2016
$2,000 per beneficiary
per year combined
from all sources
$10,000 face value per year, per owner, per type of bond No limit No limit
Qualified Expenses Tuition, fees, room and board, books, supplies, equipment, and special needs Same as 529 plan plus additional categories of K-12 expenses Tuition and fees No restrictions No restrictions
Income Restrictions None Ability to contribute phases out for incomes between $190,000 and $220,000 (joint filers) Interest exclusion phases out for incomes between $112,050 and $142,000 (joint filers) None None
Federal Financial Aid Counted as asset of parent or other account owner; not counted as a student asset Counted as asset of parent or other account owner; not counted as a student asset Counted as asset of bondholder Counted as student's asset Counted as asset of the owner
Use for Non-Qualifying Expenses Withdrawn earnings subject to federal tax and 10% penalty Withdrawn earnings subject to federal tax and 10% penalty No penalty; interest on redeemed bonds included in federal income Funds must be used for benefit of the minor Money can be withdrawn at any time for any reason

The Arizona Family College Savings Plan is not insured by the State of Arizona or any of the program providers. Neither the principal deposited nor the investment return is guaranteed by the State of Arizona or the program providers.