SB 174 - This act creates the "Missouri Achieving a Better Life Experience Program". Under this act, a person may make tax-deductible contributions to an account established for the purpose of financing the qualified disability expenses of a beneficiary.

The act defines a beneficiary as an individual who:

1) is receiving, deemed to be, or treated as receiving supplemental security income or disability benefits under the Social Security Act;

2) has a medically determined physical or mental impairment, which results in marked and severe functional limitations, and which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than twelve months; or

3) is blind.

The act defines qualified disability expenses as expenses made for the benefit of a beneficiary. Such expenses must be related to education, housing, transportation, employment, health, qualify as a miscellaneous expense, or be otherwise approved by the Missouri ABLE Board.

The act creates the Missouri ABLE Board which is charged with establishing and administering the savings program. The Board is given power and authority identical to that delegated to the Missouri Higher Education Savings Program Board.

The act permits the Board to enter into participation agreements with participants on behalf of beneficiaries which are substantially similar to those participation agreements entered into under the Missouri Higher Education Savings Program.

The act permits participants to cancel a participation agreement at any time. However, the assets distributed upon cancellation will be subject to a penalty equal to or greater than ten percent of the earnings of the account if the distributions do not meet the requirements set forth in the section.

The act exempts from taxation the assets of any qualified disability savings account and any income therefrom. Participants may deduct up to $8,000 per participant ($16,000 if married filing jointly) from their adjusted gross income.

The act requires the Director of Investment of the State Treasurer's Office to conduct a semiannual review of the program and report his or her findings to the Board.


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