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General Refund Rules

  • We strongly advise you to review IRS PUBLICATION 970 and consult a tax advisor about potential tax and penalty implications. Review the Program Details Booklet and Master Agreement for more details.
  • Only the Account Owner may request a refund. It is the responsibility of the Account Owner to fully understand all other account options in lieu of a refund, prior to requesting a refund. Account Owners have the following account options, in lieu of a refund: 
    • Students have up to ten years from their benefit use year to begin using their units. They have an additional ten years to finish using their units once the first account withdrawal is made.
    • The funds in the GET account can be transferred or the Student Beneficiary can be changed to another family member (out to first cousin) of the Student Beneficiary.
    • Custom Monthly Plan Account Owners who are unable to continue making their monthly payments have the option to reduce the terms of their contract or convert their Custom Monthly account to a Lump Sum account.
  • The non-refundable enrollment fee and any previously incurred account fees (e.g. late payment fees and dishonored payment fees) will be deducted from all final refund amounts.
  • The earnings portion of any refund may still be subject to federal taxes, penalties and fees, payable to the IRS (typically any increased value is taxed as income, and an additional 10% penalty applies).
  • Account Owners must request a full refund, which will close the account. With few exceptions, we will not process partial refunds.
  • Faxes and photocopies of the Refund/Cancellation form can not be accepted.
  • The Account Owner must submit an original signed and notarized Refund/Cancellation Request form and supporting documentation as required to: GET Program, PO Box 43450, Olympia, WA 98504-3450
  • Refund checks are made payable to the Account Owner, unless the Student Beneficiary is indicated as the person to  receive the refund. Making the refund payable to the Student Beneficiary may have different tax implications than making it payable to the Account Owner.
  • On information and belief, the IRS assesses a 10% penalty for withdrawals not transferred to another 529 plan, or not used for qualified higher education expenses (non-qualified withdrawals), with a few exceptions. Additionally, the earnings portion of all refunds may be taxed as income. 
    • January following a year of distribution, we send a1099-Q to the individual who received the refund. You may be required to report this to the IRS. Please consult a tax advisor before requesting a refund to determine any federal income tax liability. 
  • If the Program denies a refund request, the Account Owner may submit a letter to the Program Director within 10 days after notification, asking for reconsideration. If the Director denies reconsideration, the Account Owner may submit a letter to the Committee Chair within 10 days after notification, asking for reconsideration. The Committee Chair will conduct a brief adjudicative proceeding on the merits of the request and render a final decision.

Please contact us for a GET Contact Center Representative to review your options before requesting a refund. 

1.800.955.2318 | getinfo@wsac.wa.gov

 

The WA529 office is closed to walk-in visitors at this time. If you have questions about your GET or DreamAhead account, Contact Center representatives are available by phone or email. Please see our Contact Us page for details, hours, and additional information. 

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