The return lines at stores aren’t the only places that are busy this week, the College Savings Iowa program run by the state treasurer’s office is seeing a lot of activity too. Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald says everyone is trying to get their contributions in by the end of the year.

“A lot of us put this off until the last minute, and that’s why for College Savings Iowa, this is the busiest week of the year. We will get millions of dollars in,” Fitzgerald says. The money put into the program can be deducted from your state income taxes. Fitzgerald says, unlike some other investments, the contributions for College Savings Iowa are calculated on a calendar year basis.

“You do not have it like  an IRA where you have until April 15th, you have to have it done by midnight December 31st. Of course you can go to College Savings Iowa dot com (CollegeSavingsIowa.com) and do it right on the internet, or if you mail it in, if you have it postmarked by midnight, you’re good,” Fitzgerald explains.

Fitzgerald says you can start a new account and make donations before the deadline and still get the tax write off for this year.  “It’s professionally invested by Vanguard and you have 13 options you can choose from in how to invest your money,” Fitzgerald says.

He says some people are very aggressive and put all the money in the stock market, while others are more conservative and invest in bonds. There is also a lifestyle option that automatically adjusts the investment and amount of risk based on your child’s age.

Each parent can deduct up to $2,865 for each child from their state income taxes this year.