Keep Back-to-School Purchase Receipts for Tax Benefits


MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — As the school year approaches, experts are reminding parents and caregivers to make sure they keep receipts for school supply purchases, so they can claim valuable K-12 tax benefits when filing their taxes next year.

“When you go to Walmart, Target, whatever, and you get the necessary school supplies, the backpacks, the necessary school shoes at the gym that you have to leave at school. These are all tax deductible in the state of Minnesota, save your receipts,” said Glenice Karnes, Enrolled Agent at K&K Payroll and Taxes.

In Minnesota, parents can claim either the K-12 college credit or the subtraction when they file their taxes next year.

Tax experts say it’s still a great way to put money back in your pocket.

“It’s a Minnesota comeback. It’s the education credit. So if your income is low enough, you get credit for that. If your income is high enough, you get a deduction. So either way you will get something,” Karnes added.

According to the Minnesota Department of Revenue, nearly 130,000 families received the K-12 education subtraction last year, with an average subtraction of $1,200.

To be eligible, purchases must all be for educational services or required materials.

“Expenses for fine arts are deductible, anything that is educational enrichment,” Karnes explained. “Sport, on the other hand, is not deductible. So sports fees do not count.

As for the educational subtraction, there is no income limit to qualify.

Most expenses for instruction or educational materials are eligible, including:

  • Paper;
  • pens and notebooks;
  • textbooks ;
  • Rental or purchase of educational equipment, such as musical instruments;
  • Computer equipment (access points, modems and routers) and educational software (up to $200 for the subtraction and $200 for the credit); and
  • Extracurricular tutoring and educational summer camps provided by a qualified instructor.

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