Author: Deborah Goodkin, Managing Director, Savings Plans, First National Bank of Omaha

As we close upon the calendar year, now is the perfect opportunity to reflect on one’s savings progress and begin to plan out financial goals for 2021 and beyond.

The Enable Savings Plan Alabama remains a steadfast partner on the journey to achieving these financial goals. Not only does Enable Alabama help protect access to vital resource-based benefits such as Medicaid and SSI, but the Plan helps Account Owners reach their goals faster and more efficiently through numerous tax advantages. Read on for a checklist of the many ways that Enable Alabama helps individuals with disabilities and their families accomplish tax savings.

checkbox.png Tax-Deferred Growth

Why save with Enable Alabama, rather than in a standard savings or investment account? One important factor is that Enable Alabama Account Owners benefit from compounded, income tax-deferred growth, also known as “growth on growth.” Because Enable Alabama account earnings are state and federal income tax-deferred, the full earnings amount remains in your account and grows with no money being subtracted to pay current tax obligations. That means earnings happen more tax efficiently, helping to increase the account value even faster and maximize earnings potential associated with market growth.

checkbox.png Tax-Free Withdrawals

Not only do Enable Alabama savings grow tax-free, but withdrawals are also free from any tax burden as long as the funds are used for qualified disability expenses (QDE). The ABLE Act defines a QDE as an expense related to the disability of the Eligible Individual. This covers a wide range of categories, including medical expenses, education, service animals, housing, transportation, financial management and administrative services and basic living expenses. Click here to explore the full list of qualifying expenses.

checkbox.png Gift Tax Exclusion

Enable contributions can also offer tax benefits for the friends and family of Account Owners. Gift contributions to ABLE accounts are considered a completed gift from the contributor to the Account Owner, and qualify for the annual gift-tax exclusion - which for 2020 is $15,000 total per person for each beneficiary. That means that friends and family can make significant contributions to their loved one’s financial independence without triggering a gift tax. In addition, gift contributions can be an impactful tool for friends and family to lessen the value of their taxable estate.

checkbox.png 529 Plan Rollovers

Many families save for their children’s higher education with a tax-advantaged 529 College Savings Plan. If families have extra 529 savings that they will not need for higher education, a great benefit of the Enable Savings Plan Alabama is that these funds can be rolled over into an Enable Alabama account without incurring any tax consequences. This can be done from both a 529 account with the same beneficiary as the Enable Alabama account, or from a 529 account with a beneficiary in the same family.

As we near the end of another year of savings, on behalf of the entire Enable Alabama team I wish you and yours a joyful holiday season, and a motivating new year. Happy saving!

If you have any additional questions regarding your account or the tax benefits of the Enable Savings Plan Alabama, please reach out to us via email at clientservices@enableal.com or at 1-866-833-7949.