Thanks for the replies, I appreciate the responses. I was thinking the same thing, just couldn't find it confirmed anywhere.
I was particularly confused by the text of IRC 529(c)(2)(A) (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/ ... -000-.html
) which states, "Any contribution
to a qualified tuition program [i.e., a 529 plan] on behalf of any designated beneficiary
[shall be treated as a gift]." It seems to state that, no matter what, all contributions to a qualified tuition program are a gift. "Designated beneficiary" is formally defined (529(e)(1)) to mean "the individual designated at the commencement of participation in the qualified tuition program as the beneficiary of amounts paid (or to be paid) to the program ... ." So it seems like I do qualify as the "designated beneficiary." I didn't see a specified exemption if the beneficiary is also the contributor, but I guess such an exemption doesn't need to be made explicit, because, as you both point out, you can't make a gift to yourself? I might just file an IRS Form 709 and explain the situation, or hire someone else to do my taxes for this year...
Anyways, thanks again for the help.