What rules govern how much you can withdraw for food when the student lives off campus?
Question: In June 2022, a 529 Dash e-newsletter reader asked the question of, “What rules govern how much you can withdraw for food when the student lives off campus?”
Answer: For this 529 qualified expense, IRS Publication 970 (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p970.pdf) provides guidance on pages 51 to 52:
“Expenses for room and board must be incurred by students who are enrolled at least half-time (defined later). The expense for room and board qualifies only to the extent that it isn’t more than the greater of the following two amounts.
- The allowance for room and board, as determined by the school, that was included in the cost of attendance (for federal financial aid purposes) for a particular academic period and living arrangement of the student.
- The actual amount charged if the student is residing in housing owned or operated by the school.
You may need to contact the eligible educational institution for qualified room and board costs”
Editors’ Take: In short, the eligible educational institution would be able to provide the limit for this item. Thank you for the question, and much appreciated.