DES MOINES, IA (02/10/2011)(readMedia)-- State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald is providing free pencils to Kindergarten teachers across Iowa through the Prepare for Basics Program. Fitzgerald understands that Kindergarten Round-Up is an integral part for both children and parents which is why he is providing the materials free of charge. "Our schools have the right idea when it comes to putting the children and parents at ease," Fitzgerald said. "They know that inviting families to check out their school six months before the school year begins will help kindergarteners prepare for their big transition. We offer the pencils as a small gesture of support for our schools." In addition to the pencils, this free program will provide information about College Savings Iowa, the state-sponsored 529 plan created to help Iowa families save for future higher education expenses.
College Savings Iowa lets anyone - parents, grandparents, friends and relatives - invest for college. Iowa taxpayers can deduct up to $2,865 in contributions per beneficiary account from their adjusted gross income in 2011.* Investors do not need to be a state resident and can withdraw their investment tax-free to pay for qualified higher education expenses including tuition, books, supplies and room and board at any eligible college, university, community college or accredited technical training school in the United States or abroad.** For more information about College Savings Iowa, visit www.collegesavingsiowa.com or call 1-888-672-9116.
Elementary principals interested in taking part in the Prepare for the Basics program are recommended to register on-line by visiting www.treasurer.state.ia.us and clicking on the financial literacy tab. To guarantee timely arrival, materials should be requested at least two weeks in advance. They will be delivered directly to the participating schools. Supplies are limited, so early registration is advised.
*Adjusted annually for inflation. If withdrawals are not qualified, the deductions must be added back to Iowa taxable income.
** Earnings on non-qualified withdrawals may be subject to federal income tax and a 10% federal penalty tax on the earnings, as well as state income taxes. The availability of tax or other benefits may be contingent on meeting other requirements.