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Rep. Bob Dettmer Encourages Families to Save Back-to-School Receipts for Tax Benefits

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Forest Lake, MN— The cost of purchasing back-to-school supplies can quickly add up for families and Rep. Bob Dettmer, R-Forest Lake, is urging people to save receipts and take advantage of tax benefits that can provide some relief.

Minnesota has both a credit and a subtraction for education expenses. Both programs reduce the tax parents pay and could provide a larger refund when filing state income tax returns for 2018. Qualifications apply and expenses must be for children attending kindergarten through 12th grade at a public, private, or homeschool.

“The State Fair is here, our days are getting a bit cooler, and thousands of families in our community are getting ready to send their kids back to school,” said Rep. Dettmer. “As a parent and former educator, I know that the cost of school supplies and education-related expenses can really add up, and that’s why I am encouraging families to look into our state’s tax benefits to help save some money. Every dollar counts!”

School supplies which qualify for the credit or subtraction include writing utensils, textbooks, musical instrument rentals, tutoring and computer hardware/educational software. Common items that do not qualify for the subtraction or credit include school lunches, uniforms and backpacks. Parents are encouraged to check the Department of Revenue website ( 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 $37,500 for families with one to two children, $39,500 for families with three children, and adding $2,000 per child for families with four or more children. The Department of Revenue indicates that last year more than 37,500 families took advantage of the education credit, saving an average of $241. More than 186,000 families took advantage of the education subtraction.

In addition to the information on the Department of Revenue’s website, Rep. Dettmer welcomes constituents to contact his legislative office if you have additional questions.