H.R.647 – ABLE Act of 2014

Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 or the ABLE Act of 2014 – Title I: Qualified ABLE Programs – (Sec. 101) States as the purposes of this title to: (1) encourage and assist individuals and families in saving private funds for the purpose of supporting individuals with disabilities to maintain health, independence, and quality of life; and (2) provide secure funding for disability-related expenses of beneficiaries with disabilities that will supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurance, title XVI (Supplemental Security Income) and title XIX (Medicaid) of the Social Security Act, the beneficiary’s employment, and other sources.

(Sec. 102) Amends the Internal Revenue Code to exempt from taxation a qualified ABLE program established and maintained by a state, or by an agency or instrumentality of the state, to pay the qualified disability expenses related to the blindness or disability of a program beneficiary, including expenses for education, housing, transportation, employment training and support, assistive technology and personal support services, health, prevention and wellness, financial management and administrative services, legal fees, and expenses for oversight and monitoring, funeral and burial expenses.

Requires officers and employees who have control of the qualified ABLE program to make reports as required by the Secretary of the Treasury. Imposes an additional 10% tax on individuals who do not use distributions from an ABLE account for disability expenses. Subjects ABLE accounts to the penalty tax for excess contributions and for failure to file required reports.

(Sec. 103) Requires amounts in ABLE accounts to be disregarded in determining eligibility for means-tested federal programs, except distributions for housing expenses under the supplemental security income program and for amounts in an ABLE account exceeding $100,000. Suspends the payment of supplemental security income benefits to an individual during any period in which such individual has excess resources in an ABLE account, but does not suspend or affect the Medicaid eligibility of such individual.

(Sec. 104) Amends the bankruptcy code to exclude funds placed in an account of a qualified ABLE program from a bankruptcy estate, but only if: (1) the designated beneficiary of such account was a child, stepchild, grandchild, or step-grandchild of the debtor; (2) such funds are not pledged or promised to any entity in connection with any extension of credit and are not excess contributions to an ABLE account; and (3) such funds do not exceed $6,225 during a specified time period.

(Sec. 105) Amends the Internal Revenue Code to permit contributors to or beneficiaries of a qualified tuition program (529 programs) to direct the investment of contributions to a 529 program (or any earnings thereon) up to two times in any calendar year (currently, no investment direction is allowed).

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