Saint Paul, MN

Save your back-to-school shopping receipts for valuable government subsidies

Abdi Isaaq

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ST. PAUL, MN - With the start of a new school year approaching, parents and caregivers are reminded to retain receipts for school supply purchases to receive substantial K-12 tax benefits when filing their taxes the following year.

Minnesota families can use two tax breaks to help pay for their child's school expenses: the refundable K-12 Education Credit (income limitations apply) and the K-12 Education Subtraction (no income limits).

These programs minimize the amount of tax that parents pay and may result in a higher refund when submitting a Minnesota income tax return. Purchases must be for educational services or required resources to qualify. The child must be in kindergarten through 12th grade and attend a public, private, or home school and meet other requirements.

Remember to keep your receipts to claim your credit or deduction. The majority of educational instruction or material costs qualify, including:

1. Paper

2. Pens and notebooks

3. Rented or purchased educational equipment, such as musical instruments

4. After-school tutoring and educational summer camps conducted by a trained instructor

5. Computer gear (hotspots, modems, and routers) and instructional software (up to $200 for the deduction and $200 for the credit). However, Internet service fees are not counted.

"Purchasing school supplies is an investment that nearly every parent or caregiver in Minnesota makes on a yearly basis," Revenue Commissioner Robert Doty explained. "Saving receipts from these purchases, including distance learning needs, and claiming the K-12 Education Credit or Subtraction will help save money or increase a refund when it comes time to file taxes."

The family income requirements for the K-12 Education Credit are as follows:

1. If you have one or two children, your household income must be less than $37,500.

2. The household income must be less than $39,500 if there are three children.

3. If there are four or more children, the total will be increased by $2,000 for each subsequent child.

Taxpayers who are exempt from filing an income tax return must do so to receive a refund for any applicable education credit.

More than 33,000 households received the K-12 Education Credit last year, saving an average of $250. About 190,000 families received the K-12 Education Subtraction.

Please get in touch with Ryan Brown at 651-556-6397 or ryan.brown@state.mn.us if you require any additional information.

Learn more about the K-12 education tax credit by watching the video below.

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