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can a person use 529 money for housing when an accredited school dose not provide housing

 
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2 Replies

can a person use 529 money for housing when an accredited school dose not provide housing

The answer is maybe. 

 

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p970.pdf

 

See Qualified Education Expenses

 

https://www.savingforcollege.com/article/can-you-use-a-529-plan-to-pay-for-room-and-board

https://www.savingforcollege.com/article/using-your-529-plan-to-pay-for-room-and-board

 

https://www.glassjacobson.com/blog/529-off-campus-housing/

 

From forrent.com

 

"Rent

No matter where you go to college, you’ll need a crash pad. This can be your parents’ house, the college dorms, or an apartment somewhere close to but outside of the college. Many people prefer off-campus apartments and need to cover that as much as they would on-campus rent. A 529 plan does include off-campus rent as long as you’re going to college half-time for that semester – but it only includes rent and utilities up to the amount specified by the college as a room-and-board allowance.
For example, if your college estimates $800 per month for rent, your 529 dollars can be used for up to $800, including utilities, but any more than that will be taxed under normal federal income tax. With that in mind, a healthy dose of research will be needed before your move. You can find places in that price range close to your college by using a website like ForRentUniversity.com, which helps with location-based apartment hunting.
Most colleges list their room and board allowance on their website, but if you’re not sure, call the college and ask about it. You can never be too careful!"

 

**Disclaimer: Effort has been made to offer correct information; but due to the discussion forum limitations, the poster disclaims any legal responsibility for the accuracy of the poster's response**
Carl
Level 15

can a person use 529 money for housing when an accredited school dose not provide housing

Typically, with emphasis on the word *TYPICALLY*, yes.

 - Housing costs claimed can not exceed what it would cost to live on campus. However, in the case where campus housing is not available, the student "should" get a letter from the school indicating that on campus housing is not available. Generally, a letter is needed for each semester. In such a scenario housing costs claimed can not exceed what is reasonable for the local area. (So no $5000/mo penthouse suites.)

- Housing costs must be "in direct support" of the education. So if the student is not enrolled for the summer semester for example, housing costs for that period are not deductible against the 529 distribution.

Hosing costs includes the cost of necessary utilities too. So while internet access cost may be included, your Netflix subscription can not.

 

 

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