Tax credits for school supplies

School is expensive, but you can get money back from the things your child uses every day in class.

LAKEVILLE, Minn. – Between new clothes and new supplies, going back to school can get expensive. But there is a way to get some of that money back when you file your taxes.

The Minnesota Department of Revenue has two tax relief programs for families with children in Kindergarten to Grade 12.

You can recover up to 75% of eligible expenses by claiming the credit.

Depending on the number of children you have and whether your household income is between $ 37,500 and $ 43,500, you may get a credit or refund on your income tax returns when you purchase certain school supplies.

If your income is more than that, you can still get money back by subtraction, meaning that eligible school supply expenses would be subtracted from your taxable income at tax time.

Depending on the number of children you have and their grade, you can subtract up to $ 1,625 or $ 2,500 per child.

Items eligible for credit / subtraction include:

  • Textbooks and school supplies such as pencils and notebooks
  • After school tutoring or music lessons if it is with a certified teacher
  • Computers
  • Rental of musical instruments and other performing arts costs
  • School clothes
  • Sports camps
  • Internet charges
  • Backpack

For a full list of eligible items, click here.

Pam Heimdal is the owner of Heimdal Tax and Financial Services in Lakeville and says she helps people take advantage of these programs every year.

“Minnesota has a lower tax rate, so it doesn’t always amount to a huge amount of money in their [Minnesotans] pockets, but it’s always worth it, ”Heimdal said.

Heimdal says you can narrow down which items are eligible by noting what is strictly for education or just:

“Dance lessons matter, but costumes don’t,” Heimdal said.

You must keep all of your receipts, otherwise you will not see the money. Heimdal suggests keeping them in a folder near your other tax documents so that when the time comes to file, you’re good to go.

For more information on tax credit / subtraction with school supplies, click here.


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