ST. PAUL – The cost of purchasing back-to-school supplies can quickly add up for families and Rep. Paul Anderson, R-Starbuck, is urging 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.
“Higher prices in today’s economy are impacting us at every turn, including when making essential back-to-school purchases,” Anderson said. “These costs can really add up for families and it is good these tools are available to help provide some relief on classroom supplies. Just be sure to keep your receipts together so you can track them down during 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 (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. Families with three or more 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.