Tax Policy – Texas Opens Qualified ABLE Program

Texas recently opened a new ABLE program, bringing the total number of jurisdictions with ABLE programs to 36. The program is currently only open to Texas residents. It has four investment options. Accounts have a $4 monthly maintenance fee and asset-based fees ranging from 0.25% to 0.39% for investment options. The minimum initial deposit is $50, and the minimum amount for subsequent deposits is $25. More information about state implementation of the ABLE Act can be found here. General information about ABLE programs can be found in the National Policy Matters: ABLE Accounts for People with Disabilities here.

Tax – Arizona, Wyoming Open Qualified ABLE Programs

Arizona and Wyoming recently opened new ABLE programs, bringing the total number of jurisdictions with ABLE programs to 35. These programs are currently open only to state residents. They have five investment options. The accounts have a $3.50 monthly fee and asset-based fees ranging from 0.19% to 0.34% for investment options. The minimum initial deposit is $50. More information about state implementation of the ABLE Act can be found here. General information about ABLE programs can be found in the National Policy Matters: ABLE Accounts for People with Disabilities here.

Tax – Webinar on 2018 ABLE Act Changes

The ABLE National Resource Center (ANRC) will host a free webinar on changes to the ABLE Act taking place in 2018, including an increased contribution limit, the ability to roll over funds from 529 College Savings Accounts, allowing additional contributions by employed beneficiaries, and access to the Saver’s Credit. Chris Rodriguez, Director, ANRC, will moderate the panel. Panelists include Michael Morris, Executive Director, National Disability Institute; Mary Morris, Chief Executive Officer, Virginia 529/ABLEnow; Stuart Spielman, Senior Policy Advisor, Autism Speaks; David Bell, Managing Director, Oregon ABLE Savings Plan; and J.J. Hanley, Director, Illinois ABLE. The webinar will take place on Thursday, January 25 from 2:00-3:30 pm EST. Register for the webinar here.

Tax Policy – Senate Tax Bill Adds ABLE Provisions

The House and Senate tax bills include a provision that allows the rollover of funds from a Qualified Tuition Program into a Qualified ABLE Program. Additionally, the Senate tax bill includes a provision that increases the annual contribution limit for ABLE accounts for beneficiaries who work by the amount they earn, up to the federal poverty level. The Arc does not support passage of any ABLE Act changes until the age of onset is substantially increased. Learn more about The Arc’s position on ABLE Act improvement here.

Tax Policy – Colorado, Indiana, New York Open Qualified ABLE Programs

Recently, Colorado, Indiana, and New York opened qualified ABLE programs, bringing the total number of jurisdictions with ABLE programs to 29.

Colorado and Indiana’s ABLE programs are open to all eligible individuals nation-wide. They have six investment options and a checking option with a debit card. The accounts have a quarterly fee of $15, which is reduced by $3.75 for individuals who elected to receive their statements electronically. Additionally, they have asset-based fees ranging from 0.34% to 0.38% depending on the investment options chosen.

New York‘s ABLE Program is currently only open to state residents. It has four investment options and a checking account with a debit card. Accounts have a quarterly fee of $11.25 for account-holders who receive electronic statements and $13.75 for account-holders who receive paper statements. Additionally, there is a 0.4% asset-based fee on investment options.

More information about state implementation of the ABLE Act can be found here. General information about ABLE programs can be found in the National Policy Matters: ABLE Accounts for People with Disabilities here.

Tax – Vermont Opens ABLE Program

On February 27, Vermont became the 17th state to launch a qualified ABLE Program. This program is currently only open to Vermont residents. The plan has five investment options. There is a monthly fee of $5 and annual asset-based fees that range from 0.19% to 0.34% depending on the investment option. Additionally, there is a minimum initial deposit of $50. More information about state implementation the ABLE Act can be found here. General information about ABLE programs can be found in the National Policy Matters: ABLE Accounts for People with Disabilities here.

New ABLE Account Survey Offered

The ABLE National Resource Center has developed a survey to better understand how many individuals might be eligible for ABLE accounts and how a potential beneficiary may use an ABLE account to save for disability related expenses.  The results will be analyzed by the ABLE National Resource Center and distributed to its members and other relevant stakeholders.  The Arc encourages advocates to distribute the survey widely through social media, email, and newsletters.  It is hoped that all responses will be submitted by August 3rd, though distribution is still encouraged through the end of August. To participate in the survey, please click here.  If you have any questions, please contact Chris Rodriguez at the National Disability Institute.

New ABLE Act Resource Available

In December 2014, the Stephen Beck, Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act was signed into law. Since that time, over 50% of the states have passed their own version(s) of the bill and are now turning their attention to implementing the program. In an effort to assist individuals with I/DD, their families, and advocates in tracking their states’ progress in this endeavor, The Arc has produced a resource outlining each state’s implementation status. This chart details the effective date and the implementation date of their state’s Act; contact information for the administering agency; as well as any current details on implementation. The Arc plans to update this document regularly in an effort to provide the most current information, as well as to manage expectations as to the availability of ABLE accounts in a particular state. If you would like to view this document, please do so on our website.

The IRS Publishes Proposed Regulations for the ABLE Act

On June 19, the Internal Revenue Service issued proposed regulations for implementation of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014. These proposed regulations, titled Guidance Under Section 529A: Qualified ABLE Programs, were published in the Federal Register on June 22. Public comments are due on September 21, 2015. The IRS also announced a public hearing scheduled for October 14, 2015.

The proposed regulations address numerous issues, including the following: the relationship of a person with signature authority and the designated beneficiary of the account; qualifications for eligibility; status of an ABLE account when person is no longer disabled; limits on contributions to the account; potential penalties; and qualified expenses. The Arc and other advocates will be analyzing the proposed regulations in preparation for submitting comments.