Make your money work harder and smarter.

IDeal is designed for parents who'd rather spend their college savings on tuition, instead of on taxes. It offers several significant advantages over taxable college saving vehicles:

Contribute before 12/31 each year to maximize your state tax incentive

Tax Deduction for individual filers:

Individual Idaho taxpayers qualify for a state tax deduction of up to $6,000 ($12,000 if married, filing jointly) for contributions to an IDeal account. Find out how to claim your ID state tax deduction and max out your refund.

Employer tax credit:

Idaho employers also benefit from tax incentives with a 20% state tax credit given for direct contributions to their employees’ IDeal accounts. The employer tax credit is capped at $500 per employee, per year.5

Tax-deferred earnings

Unlike most traditional investments, an IDeal account can grow tax-deferred. That means your earnings could continue to compound year after year, without suffering the bite of federal and state taxes.

The difference between tax-free growth and taxable growth can be significant, as the hypothetical chart below shows:


If you opened a 529 account with an initial investment of $25 and contributed $100 every month for 18 years, there could be almost $5,000 more for a qualified withdrawal than the same investment in a taxable account.1

Assumptions: $25 initial investment with subsequent monthly investments of $100 for a period of 18 years; annual rate of return on investment of 5% and no funds withdrawn during the time period specified; taxpayer is in the 30% federal income tax bracket for all options at the time of contributions and distribution. This hypothetical is for illustrative purposes only. It does not reflect an actual investment in any particular 529 plan or any taxes that may be payable upon distribution.

Tax-free qualified withdrawals2

You pay no federal or state income taxes on withdrawals from your IDeal account when the money is used for a qualified education expense, such as:

K-12 public, private or religious schools: Withdrawals are limited to tuition payments only up to $10,000 per year, per student.

Higher education:

  • tuition
  • mandatory fees
  • required books, supplies, and equipment
  • certain room and board expenses
  • computer software and internet access
  • dual credit courses and required books

Apprenticeship programs:

  • fees
  • books and supplies
  • required equipment

Student loan repayments: Withdrawals are limited to up to $10,000 lifetime, per individual, for principal or interest on any qualified education loan of the Beneficiary or a sibling of the Beneficiary.3

Gift and estate tax benefits

Contribute up to $18,000 ($36,000 if married, filing jointly) in a single year without incurring a gift tax. Or take advantage of "accelerated gifting" to reduce your taxable income by contributing five years' worth of gifts ($90,000 if single/$180,000 if married, filing jointly) to an IDeal account in one year without incurring gift taxes.4


1 A plan of regular investment cannot assure a profit or protect against a loss in a declining market.

2 Earnings on non-qualified withdrawals are subject to federal income tax and may be subject to a 10% federal penalty tax, as well as state and local income taxes. The availability of tax or other benefits may be contingent on meeting other requirements.

3 Note: if you make an education loan repayment from your Account, you may not also take a federal income tax deduction for any interest included in that education loan repayment.

4 In the event you do not survive the five-year period, a pro-rated amount will revert back to your taxable estate.

5 The employee can deduct employer contributions made on their behalf from their Idaho state income tax.

Important Legal Information

By clicking on one of the social media icons, you are leaving the IDeal website, maintained by Ascensus, and are being redirected to a social media site solely maintained by the State College Savings Program Board (“Board”). Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, LLC, the program manager for IDeal, does not monitor or endorse the Board's social media activities. All IDeal social media activities are the sole responsibility of the Board.

Mr. Thiros is a registered representative of Ascensus Broker Dealer Services LLC, 877-529-2980, 95 Wells Ave, Newton MA (member FINRA/SIPC) and is not employed by the State of Idaho.

For more information about IDeal - Idaho College Savings Program ("IDeal"), call 866-433-2533  click here to obtain a Disclosure Statement. The Disclosure Statement discusses investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information. Because investing in IDeal is an important decision for you and your family, you should read and consider the Disclosure Statement carefully before investing.

Please Note: Before you invest, consider whether your or the beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other state benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors that are only available for investments in that state’s qualified tuition program. You should also consult your financial, tax, or other advisor to learn more about how state-based benefits (or any limitations) would apply to your specific circumstances. You also may wish to contact directly your home state’s 529 college savings plan(s), or any other 529 plan, to learn more about those plans’ features, benefits, and limitations. Keep in mind that state-based benefits should be one of many appropriately weighted factors to be considered when making an investment decision.

IDeal is administered by the State College Savings Program Board ("Board"). ABD, the program manager, and its affiliates, have overall responsibility for the day-to-day operations, including investment advisory, recordkeeping and administrative services, and marketing. The Vanguard Group, Inc. ("Vanguard") serves as Investment Manager for IDeal. Sallie Mae Bank serves as the Savings Portfolio Manager for IDeal. IDeal's Portfolios invest in either: (i) mutual funds and a separate account offered or managed by Vanguard; or (ii) an FDIC-insured omnibus savings account held in trust by the Board at Sallie Mae Bank. Except for the Savings Portfolio, investments in IDeal are not insured by the FDIC. Units of the Portfolios are municipal securities and the value of units will vary with market conditions.

Investment returns will vary depending upon the performance of the Portfolios you choose. Except to the extent of FDIC insurance available for the Savings Portfolio, you could lose all or a portion of your money by investing in IDeal, depending on market conditions. Account Owners assume all investment risks as well as responsibility for any federal and state tax consequences.

Not FDIC-Insured (except for the Savings Portfolio). No Bank, State or Federal Guarantee. May lose value.