DELANO – The cost of purchasing back-to-school supplies can quickly add up and Rep. Joe McDonald, R-Delano, urges 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 home school.
“It can be expensive for families to purchase all of the materials their children need to begin the new school year,” McDonald said. “There can be some sticker shock for parents, but these tax benefits can help them recoup some of those costs next tax season. We all want to maximize our tax returns, so the best thing to do is to store receipts from back-to-school purchases with the rest of your tax documents so they will be there when you need them next tax season. It’s just one more way people can keep more of their hard-earned money.”
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 (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 $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 visiting the Department of Revenue’s website, McDonald encourages constituents who have questions about the credit or subtraction to contact him at email@example.com or by calling (651) 296-4336.