IRS issues final regulations for Achieving a Better Life Experience accounts


IR-2020-227, October 1, 2020

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service posted to final regulations today for Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts.

The regulations issued today finalize two previously issued proposed regulations. The first proposed regulation was published in 2015 after the enactment of the ABLE Act. The second proposed regulation was published in 2019 in response to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which made significant changes to ABLE accounts.

Eligible individuals may now put more money into their ABLE account and roll money from their qualified tuition programs (529 plans) into their ABLE accounts. Also, certain contributions made to ABLE accounts by low- and moderate-income workers may now qualify for the Saver's Credit.

ABLE accounts are designed to help people with disabilities and their families save and pay for disability-related expenses. Though contributions are not deductible, distributions, including earnings, are tax-free to the designated beneficiary if used to pay qualified disability expenses. These expenses can include housing, education, transportation, health, prevention and wellness, employment training and support, assistive technology and personal support services and other disability-related expenses.

The final regulation addresses many comments received on the 2015 and 2019 proposed regulations. Specifically, they provide guidance on the gift and generation-skipping transfer tax consequences of contributions to an ABLE account, as well as on the federal income, gift, and estate tax consequences of distributions from, and changes in the designated beneficiary of, an ABLE account.

Also, before January 1, 2026, funds are allowed to be rolled over from a designated beneficiary's 529 plan to an ABLE account for the same beneficiary or a family member. The regulations provide that rollovers from 529 plans, together with any contributions made to the designated beneficiary's ABLE account (other than certain permitted contributions of the designated beneficiary's compensation) cannot exceed the annual ABLE contribution limit.

Finally, these regulations provide guidance on the recordkeeping and reporting requirements of a qualified ABLE program.

For more information about ABLE accounts and other tax reform changes visit the Tax Reform page of