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Posted on: August 11, 2020

Save back-to-school shopping receipts to claim valuable tax benefits

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Save back-to-school shopping receipts to claim valuable tax benefits 

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The school year may look and feel a little different this fall, but parents can still claim valuable K-12 tax benefits by saving receipts on school supply purchases this year.

“Every year, parents across Minnesota invest in their children’s education by purchasing school supplies,” said Revenue Commissioner Cynthia Bauerly. “This year, distance learning may have changed the nature of these investments, but parents should still keep receipts for these purchases, including distance learning needs, and claim the K-12 Education Credit or Subtraction to help save money when it comes time to file taxes in 2021.”

Two tax benefits can help Minnesota families pay expenses related to their child’s education: the refundable K-12 Education Credit (income limits apply) and the K-12 Education Subtraction (no income limits).

These programs reduce the tax parents pay and could deliver a larger refund when filing a Minnesota income tax return. To qualify, the purchases must be for educational services or required materials. The child must be attending kindergarten through 12th grade at a public, private, or home school and meet other qualifications.

Last year, more than 36,000 families received the K-12 Education Credit and saved an average of $251. Nearly 192,000 families received the K-12 Education Subtraction.

Save those receipts
Remember to save your receipts to claim the credit or subtraction. Most expenses for educational instruction or materials qualify, including:

  • Paper
  • Pens and notebooks
  • Textbooks
  • Rental or purchases of educational equipment such as musical instruments
  • Computer hardware (hotspots, modems, and routers) and educational software (up to $200 for the subtraction and $200 for the credit) *
  • After-school tutoring and educational summer camps taught by a qualified instructor

*Fees for internet service do not qualify

Household Income for the K-12 Education Credit

Number of qualifying children in K-12

Household income must be less than

1 or 2

$37,500

3

$39,500

4 or more

Add $2,000 for each additional child

Taxpayers who are not required to file an income tax return must do so in order to claim a refund for any eligible education credit.

K-12 Education Subtraction
There are no income limits to qualify for the education subtraction. Most parents qualify. Parents can claim the K-12 Subtraction for tuition paid to private schools or college courses used to satisfy high school graduation requirements.

Check out our video to learn more about the K-12 education tax credit.

Get the latest news and updates from the Minnesota Department of Revenue by following the department on Facebook and Twitter or by signing up for our email subscription list.

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