Distributions can be taken from an IRA before age 59û if the funds are used to pay qualified higher education costs for yourself, your spouse, or dependent. The Tax Court has said that funds used to buy a computer are not a qualified expense where its use is not required for any course and access to computer-posted course syllabi can be done through school computers in the library.
Withdrawals can be taken penalty free only in the year in which you pay the expenses.
In the government’s fiscal year ending September 30, 2012, more than 146 million individual income tax returns were filed. More than $1.3 trillion in taxes were paid, which accounted for more than 54% of all the federal revenue collected. Tax refunds to individuals totaled more than $322 billion.
Source: 2012 Data BookView all factoids