ST. PAUL – The cost of purchasing back-to-school supplies can quickly add up for families and Rep. Lisa Demuth, R-Cold Spring, urges people to save receipts and take advantage of tax benefits that can provide some relief.
Minnesota has both a K-12 education credit and a K-12 education subtraction for school-related expenses. Both programs reduce the taxes parents pay and could provide a larger refund when filing state income taxes. Qualifications apply and expenses must be for children attending kindergarten through 12th grade at a public, private, or home school.
“Rising prices and tax increases already are squeezing family budgets in this economy and, unfortunately, essential school supplies can cause sticker shock,” Demuth said. “I highly encourage people to take advantage of resources the state makes available to reduce their tax burden, including for education-related expenses. Just be sure to file away your receipts now in a place where you can track them down next tax season.”
School supplies that qualify for the credit or subtraction include writing utensils, textbooks, musical instrument rentals, tutoring, and computer hardware/educational software. Parents are encouraged to check the Department of Revenue website (http://www.revenue.state.mn.us) to determine which expenses qualify.
While the education subtraction is not subject to income limits, the credit is limited to households with incomes less than $76,000 for families with one or two children, and $79,000 for families with three children. For families with three or more children, the household income must be less than $79,000 plus $3,000 for each additional child.
The Department of Revenue reports more than 17,000 families received the K-12 Education Credit last year, for an average credit of $280. Additionally, over 134,000 families received the K-12 Education Subtraction, for an average subtraction of $1,266.