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Frequently asked questions

529 plans

  • The goal of 529 savings plans is simple – they are investment vehicles designed to help families save for qualified education expenses without the burden of taxes. The plans are named after a specific section of the IRS Code, which allows investments in “529s” to grow tax-deferred and assets used for expenses like college tuition, books and room and board to be withdrawn free from federal taxes. Additional state tax benefits may also be available depending on your specific plan and state of residence.

  • Any U.S. citizen or legal U.S. resident can be the beneficiary of a BlackRock CollegeAdvantage 529 account. It is not required for the account owner and beneficiary to be related in any way, and if so desired, an account owner is free to name himself/herself as the beneficiary.

  • There are no limits on how frequently you may change the beneficiary of your account, but in order to avoid taxes or penalties, the new beneficiary must be a qualified member of the previous beneficiary's family, unless the account is a Scholarship Account. See the Program Description for details on qualifications. Additionally, you may not change the beneficiary if such a change would cause the aggregate account balances of all CollegeAdvantage Program accounts, for the new beneficiary, to exceed the Maximum Contribution Limit.

  • Anyone, including individuals, corporations, charities, partnerships or trusts can contribute to, establish and own accounts.

  • Yes, but there are several considerations you should be aware of before doing so. If you are in a custodial role for a minor with a UGMA/UTMA, you may move some or all of the UGMA/UTMA assets to a 529 plan, provided that the minor remains the beneficiary of the new account. However, prior to transferring the assets, you must liquidate funds from the UGMA/UTMA account and should discuss any resulting tax consequences with your financial professional. Finally, as an UGMA/UTMA custodian, you must notify the 529 plan when the beneficiary reached the legal age of majority, which is 21 in most states.

  • Financial aid treatment changes often and each school maintains its own policies, so it is of the utmost importance that you inquire about your unique situation when considering how 529 assets will affect any financial aid package. As a general rule, however, assets held in a 529 plan are treated as parental assets if one parent is the account owner. If the student is the account owner and beneficiary or is considered “independent” for financial aid purposes, any 529 assets will be attributed to the student. You should consult with your financial professional to determine how any 529 plan assets will be treated according to your specific circumstances.

  • A key advantage of all 529 plans is that the assets remain in the control of the account holder. If the selected beneficiary does not need the assets for any reason, you have several options available to you. You can select a new beneficiary provided he/she is a qualified family member related to the previous beneficiary. Qualifications are listed in the Program Description and such a change may represent a taxable event. You can take a non-qualified distribution to use as you see fit, but it is important to note that federal income taxes, penalties and state/local taxes may apply to the portion of your assets attributable to earnings. You can simply keep your assets in the 529 plan in the event that the original beneficiary changes his/her mind.

  • Yes. The main differences from state to state are the investment options offered to account holders and tax benefits available to residents of the sponsoring state. While BlackRock CollegeAdvantage is available to investors across the country and offers uniform federal tax benefits to all account holders, investors in Ohio can take advantage of additional state tax advantages. Prior to investing in any 529 plan, it is recommended that you consult a tax professional or financial professional to make sure all tax consequences are considered before opening an account.

  • Unless you are moving to or away from Ohio, there will be no changes to your BlackRock CollegeAdvantage account. Since BlackRock has partnered with the Ohio Tuition Trust Authority, you would gain a state tax advantage should you move into Ohio. Conversely, you could lose that tax advantage if you leave Ohio and are no longer considered a resident of the state.

  • You can withdraw funds by signing into our Active Investor Portal under “Mutual Fund & 529 Accounts” at The portal allows withdrawals payable directly to your college/university or to the Account Owner or Beneficiary with proceeds sent by check or to your bank information on file.

Statement and general account information

These questions pertain to accounts held directly at BlackRock. If your account is through a brokerage or similar financial intermediary (i.e. Fidelity, Charles Schwab, Morgan Stanley, Edward Jones, etc.) you would need to contact them directly for any account related questions.

Statement and mailing questions

  • We would be happy to help you sign up for eDelivery of your statements, prospectus, shareholder reports and other mailings. BlackRock is a strong proponent of reducing paper use and lowering costs for investors. Whenever a document is issued, we will automatically alert you via e-mail, allowing you to immediately view and download the information directly online. For accounts held directly at BlackRock, please follow these instructions to sign up:

    • Via online Account Access:
      Visit our Digitize Your Life page for instructions on signing up for eDelivery. This page will also teach you about our digital service options.
  • If your portfolio or account has been open for less than one year, the one-year calculation cannot be determined, or if the calculated rate of return meets or exceeds a value of "+" or "-" 75% the return will show "NA".

  • "Your Portfolio Performance" represents the total performance of your entire portfolio. In order to calculate your fund and portfolio performance, our software captures cash flows both into and out of your account(s) over the indicated time period. The performance information is shown on the statement as a rate-of-return percentage. Calculations include only accounts that were open during the quarter. Your personal performance is calculated using a standard accounting method known as internal rate of return (IRR). This method provides your rate of return by determining the difference between your beginning and ending balances, including all purchases and/or redemptions in the stated period. The return of purchases and/or redemptions is weighted based on their activity date. Please be advised that certain factors, such as account adjustments, may affect the return.

  • The inception date used to calculate your rate of return is based on the first purchase of the oldest fund currently reflected on this statement. If you withdraw all of your money from your original investment option, the inception date will switch to the next oldest investment and recalculate your performance based on the newer inception date.

  • At this time, our database does not have the ability to track data for accounts opened prior to January 1, 1993. If your portfolio or account was opened prior to January 1, 1993, the software will use the value of your account as of January 1, 1993 for the initial purchase.

  • At this time, our database does not have the ability to track data for accounts opened prior to January 1, 2005. If your portfolio or account was opened prior to January 1, 2005, the software will use the value of your account as of January 1, 2005 for the initial purchase.

  • On your account's two-year anniversary, we replaced the bar chart illustrating change in the value of your portfolio with a more comprehensive line graph. The line graph compares the total value of your portfolio to the net amount you have invested. Your net investment amount is the total amount invested minus the total amount withdrawn. If your account is less than two years old, a bar chart will illustrate your portfolio history and you will not notice any changes in this section.

  • The statement reflects only the accounts that were active during the current statement period. If one of the funds has been closed out through redemption and is no longer reflected on the statement, those cash flows will be removed from the chart. Therefore, the chart will show only the historical flow of the active accounts reflected on this statement.

  • The "Historical Fund Performance" section reflects the actual rates of return for the fund. The personal performance calculation is based on your investment results and is affected by applicable sales charges and the timing of your purchases and withdrawals.

Account related questions

  • Investing in mutual funds is an effective way to pursue lifetime financial goals. Mutual funds offer advantages such as:

    • Ongoing professional management of the assets
    • Diversification of those assets to help reduce risk
    • Liquidity for quick access to funds
    • Flexibility to easily change investment directions by exchanging into other funds as your financial goals or needs change

    BlackRock offers you the following services:

    • Exchange privileges. You may exchange money between the same class of shares in different funds online. Exchange privileges are subject to change.
    • Retirement account investing. Any fund within the BlackRock fund family can be included in a tax-deferred retirement plan. (Note: Tax-exempt fixed income funds are not recommended investment solutions for retirement tax-exempt accounts.)
    • Regular communication. You will receive regular statements showing all activity within your account. On an annual and semiannual basis, shareholder reports will be sent for each of the funds in which you invest.
    • Electronic delivery. We highly recommend accessing your statements, shareholder reports and fund prospectuses online. BlackRock will send an alert via e-mail whenever a document is issued, allowing you to access the information online - reducing paper delivery. You can even self-register for electronic delivery after you have signed up for online account access.
    • Pricing options. Most BlackRock mutual funds offer a variety of pricing options, each share class with a different combination of sales charges, ongoing fees and other features. You should speak with your financial professional and read the Fund’s prospectus carefully before investing.
  • You should meet with your Financial Professional to discuss your financial goals and the full spectrum of BlackRock investment solutions best suited to your portfolio. Be sure to read each Fund's prospectus prior to investing.

  • BlackRock mutual funds are available in multiple share classes, each with their own eligibility, investment minimums, sales charges, and expense structures. To learn more about the share classes available in any BlackRock mutual fund, please review the Fund’s prospectus.

  • The minimum investment for Investor A or Investor C Shares is $1,000 per fund, but may be lowered to $50 with an Automatic Investment Plan (the minimum additional investment for an Automatic Investment is $50 per draft, per fund).  Initial minimums may differ for certain account types or other share classes; please consult the Fund’s prospectus for more information.

  • BlackRock makes it easy to invest in your account – you can send us a check (payable to “BlackRock”), add your Bank Instructions to submit a purchase online, or invest systematically with an Automatic Investment Plan.

  • Visit our How to Invest page, or call us to discuss your options.

  • View our Forms and Applications page (also found under “Resources” above).  While each form or application has a brief description next to it, if you have any questions please contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

  • Yes. You can exchange shares of any mutual fund you own for the same share class of any other open mutual fund online by logging into your account. When exchanging into a new fund, you should read the Fund’s prospectus carefully before investing.

  • Withdrawals can be made online.

  • Visit our Account Access page for more information.
    Please note: If your account is not held directly with BlackRock (i.e. If your account is through Merrill Lynch, Charles Schwab, Fidelity, etc.), you will need to contact that firm for assistance. If you are not sure, we recommend checking your account statements and contacting them directly.

  • Once you are logged into your account, click on MY PROFILE in order to update your login information.

  • For any account related issues, please use the mailing addresses and contact telephone numbers below:

    BlackRock Mutual Fund

    Regular Mail Overnight Mail
    BlackRock Funds
    P.O. Box 534429
    Pittsburgh, PA 15253-4429
    BlackRock Funds
    Attention: 534429
    500 Ross Street 154-0520
    Pittsburgh, PA 15262
    Monday through Friday,
    8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. EST

    BlackRock CollegeAdvantage 529

    Regular Mail Overnight Mail
    BlackRock CollegeAdvantage 529
    P.O. Box 534433
    Pittsburgh, PA 15253-4433
    BlackRock CollegeAdvantage 529 Plan
    Attention: 534433
    500 Ross Street 154-0520
    Pittsburgh, PA 15262
    Monday through Friday,
    8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. EST

Tax information

  • A capital gain is the difference between the purchase price and the selling price of an asset (i.e., stocks, bonds, and mutual fund shares) which results in a profit. For example, if a stock for $100 is purchased and later sold for $120, the capital gain is $20. A capital loss results from selling an asset at a lower price than the purchase price.

  • When a mutual fund realizes more gains than losses, mutual funds are generally required by law to distribute the net gains to shareholders by calendar year end. These distributions, which typically occur quarterly, semi-annually or annually, are made in order to satisfy such requirements.
    These distributions are taxable to shareholders, unless the mutual funds are held in a 401(k) plan, IRA, 403(b) account or other tax deferred accounts. Investors in tax deferred products will not have tax consequences as a result of these distributions. Also, some distributions are specifically exempt from taxes — for example, income from municipal bond funds is typically exempt from federal taxes.

  • Short-term capital gains result from the sale of an investment held for less than a year. A distribution of short-term gains by a mutual fund is taxed as ordinary income.
    Long-term capital gains result from the sale of an investment held for more than a year. A distribution of long-term gains by a mutual fund is taxed at the investor's capital gains tax rate.

  • Investors are required to include these amounts on their federal income tax return for the year when they are received.

  • "Buying a dividend" refers to purchasing a mutual fund just prior to a distribution by that fund. If the fund is held in a taxable account, this generates an unnecessary tax bill. In essence, a portion of the investment is returned to the investor as a taxable distribution.

  • A mutual fund's cost basis is the cost of fund shares (determined by various means) used to help shareholders calculate the taxable gain or loss of their investment if they redeem their shares. For BlackRock funds held at the transfer agent, this information is included in our Quarterly Statements when available.

  • To learn more about dividend dates and distribution amounts, visit the Tax Information page. For fund specific distributions, visit our mutual funds homepage and then select a fund to review its profile and view its distributions.

  • Yes, mutual fund distributions are considered taxable income, and shareholders must pay taxes on their gains even if they reinvest them into the mutual fund for more shares.

  • BlackRock manages our mutual funds consistent with their investment objectives. Though we are mindful of the tax implication of capital gains on our shareholders, investment decisions take into account other factors as well and are based upon prudent portfolio management in accordance with the each fund's investment strategy.

  • The Record Date is the date used to determine which shareholders are entitled to a given distribution; shareholders of record as of that date receive the distribution.
    The Ex-date is the next date after record date on which the net asset value (NAV) drops by the amount of the distribution. Those shareholders who reinvest their distributions receive additional shares.
    The Payable Date is the date that payments are sent to shareholders who do not reinvest their distributions. Those shareholders who reinvest their distributions receive additional shares.

  • Even if a mutual fund's NAV has fallen during the year, it is still possible that securities sold by the mutual fund within the year resulted in a capital gain. For example, a security bought three years ago at $10 that appreciated and was sold this year at $20 will realize a $10 capital gain.

  • When profits from sales of securities exceed losses, they accumulate and contribute to the rise of the net asset value (NAV) of the fund. Since a portion of the NAV is being deducted and distributed to the shareholders, the NAV will drop by the distribution amount. For example, a fund's shares sell at a NAV of $10. If sales of the fund's securities have realized a profit of $2 a share during the year, a capital gain distribution of $2 will be deducted from the NAV on a specified date and on that date the fund share price will decline to $8.
    This drop in NAV does not reflect a loss since the portion deducted from NAV is passed through to shareholders. Distributions do not impact a mutual fund's total return as they are taken into account as part of a fund performance.
    Please keep in mind that the NAV will also reflect market activity. Distributions do not impact a mutual fund's total return.

  • A Form 1099-DIV is sent to shareholders by investment fund companies to provide a record of all taxable capital gains and dividends paid, including those that have been re-invested in a given tax year. Tax Form 1099-B will also be sent if a shareholder has redeemed shares from their BlackRock mutual fund. Form 1099-INT is sent to shareholders who have received dividend distributions on municipal bond funds.

  • Your Form 1099-DIV lists all federally taxable dividend and capital gain distributions (short-term and long-term) of $10 or more paid to your mutual fund accounts.

  • The IRS does not require tax reporting on any taxable amounts less than $10 for a calendar year. A shareholder who did have a taxable event during the year worth more than $10 and did not receive a 1099 can contact BlackRock shareholder services at 800-441-7762 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. (ET), Monday through Friday.

  • For more information on BlackRock Funds, please consult the individual Fund's prospectus.

  • You can find tax information by going to our dedicated Tax Information page or within the mutual funds or closed-end product pages.

  • If you have one of the following types of accounts, you will not receive Form 1099-DIV: Individual Retirement Accounts and other tax-deferred accounts (including Roth and Traditional IRAs, Rollover IRAs, SEP and SIMPLE IRAs, Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, and qualified tuition plan accounts), pension, 403(b), profit sharing and money purchase plans, accounts owned by corporations, documented nonresident aliens and certain tax-exempt organizations.

  • Form 1099-B reports the gross proceeds from the sale or exchange of your mutual fund shares (non-retirement), except money market accounts and contingent deferred sales charge deducted from the gross proceeds of the transaction.

  • Form 1099-R reports both full and partial distributions from your mutual fund retirement plan accounts, with the exception of retirement accounts held by other custodians.

  • If you withdrew assets from your retirement plan account, took your retirement account dividend distributions in cash (unless reinvested into your retirement account), or converted your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA.

  • If you arranged to move your IRA account as a trustee-to-trustee transfer of assets directly to another IRA account without taking possession of the funds

  • Form 5498 reports all contributions to IRA accounts for the current tax year. The information is reported to the IRS, but you don't have to file it with your tax return.

  • You can obtain Form W-9 online at or by calling your Investment Program’s toll-free telephone number shown on your tax forms.

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Phone Numbers

If you manage your money yourself, and would like to talk to a live representative, please call one of the numbers below. Note: If your account is held at a financial intermediary, please contact them first for assistance.

Mutual funds Blk CollegeAdvantage 529 Closed-end funds iShares ETFs iShares 529
800-441-7762 866-529-8582 800-882-0052 800-474-2737 888-529-9552
8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. ET 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. ET 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. ET 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. ET 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. ET

Mailing Addresses

(Direct Accounts only)

To mail forms, applications or other written correspondence for accounts held directly at BlackRock, please use the following mailing addresses. If your account is not held at BlackRock, please contact your financial advisor or brokerage to determine the correct mailing address.

BlackRock Mutual funds BlackRock CollegeAdvantage 529
Regular mail Overnight mail Regular mail Overnight mail
BlackRock Funds
P.O. Box 534429
Pittsburgh, PA 15253-4429
BlackRock Funds
Attention: 534429
500 Ross Street 154-0520
Pittsburgh, PA 15262
BlackRock CollegeAdvantage 529
P.O. Box 534433
Pittsburgh, PA 15253-4433
BlackRock CollegeAdvantage 529 Plan
Attention: 534433
500 Ross Street 154-0520
Pittsburgh, PA 15262

Online Account Access

Ready to mange your investment online? Click the sign in button above to login or create your online access. From our Active Investor portal you can easily and safely place transactions and manage account settings for both your BlackRock mutual funds and BlackRock College Advantage 529 Plan accounts.