"...is this considered a gift to the beneficiary?"
"Can I give a gift outside of the 529 to the parent who is the owner of the 529."
Be aware of the generation-skipping transfer tax. This TurboTax help article explains:
Be aware that a special 529 rules allow you to use five years of annual exclusions at once for a tax-free gift of up to $85,000 (joint taxpayers may fund $170,000). This is sometimes referred to as Superfunding a 529 Plan.
"Gift Tax" is somewhat of a misnomer. Even though a gift tax return may be required, very few people ever actually pay federal gift tax. The purpose of the gift tax return is usually only to document a reduction in the allowable estate tax exemption.
Still have questions?Make a post