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IRS Provides Advance Notification of 
 Provisions to Be Included in § 529A Regulations 

Tax News

The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act was enacted on December 19, 2014. The ABLE Act created § 529A, which permits a state (or state agency or instrumentality) to establish and maintain a new type of tax-advantaged savings program, a qualified ABLE program. Individuals may contribute to an ABLE account amounts for qualified disability expenses for the designated beneficiary of the account. The ABLE Act requires that the IRS issue regulations or other guidance to implement  § 529A no later than June 19, 2015.

The IRS stated that it anticipates that ABLE programs may be in operation in some states before guidance is issued. According to the IRS, states that enact an ABLE program in accordance with  § 529A before regulations have been issued, and individuals contributing to those programs will be provided transition relief for necessary changes to ensure that those state programs and accounts meet the regulations.

The IRS noted that although  § 529A was modeled after qualified tuition programs under § 529, guidance for qualified ABLE programs will differ in a few significant ways. In particular, the IRS stated that guidance will provide that the owner of an ABLE account is the designated beneficiary of the account. The IRS also added that if a designated beneficiary does not have signature authority over the ABLE account, then the person with signature authority over that account can neither have nor acquire any beneficial interest in the account, and must administer that ABLE account for the benefit of the designated beneficiary.