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Avoid these 529 withdrawal traps
3. Taking the money in the wrong year.
Although you will not find this rule explicitly stated anywhere in the IRS' publications or tax forms, the withdrawals you take from your 529 account must match up with the payment of qualifying expenses in the same tax year. If you withdraw the 529 money in December for a tuition bill that isn't paid until January, you risk not having enough QHEE during the year of withdrawal.
You can ensure proper matching by requesting that the distribution from the 529 plan be sent directly to the school bursar.