Coverdell Education Savings Account
An account into which one may deposit funds on a tax-deferred basis, on the assumption that they will be used to pay for the education of the account holder. The funds are invested in a portfolio, much like an IRA or another retirement account. If the funds are in fact used for education, withdrawals from a Coverdell account are tax-exempt up to the total cost of education. Importantly, any tax liability on a Coverdell account is assessed at the account holder's bracket, rather than the contributor's. This protects the account holder from an excessive tax liability in the event a wealthy parent made most or all of the contributions. It was formerly called an education IRA.