Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » PSA: TAX CREDIT FOR HOMESCHOOLING
  • PSA: TAX CREDIT FOR HOMESCHOOLING

    Filed at 9:52 pm under by dcobranchi

    Relatively good news for MN home educators:

    Saving receipts from school supply purchases made now may help parents save when they file their state income taxes. The Minnesota Department of Revenue reminds parents that their school supply purchases may qualify for tax credits or subtractions on their 2007 state income tax return.

    “We want Minnesota families who invest in school expenses to get the tax credits and subtractions that they deserve,” said Minnesota Revenue Commissioner Ward Einess. “Parents should know that their school supply purchases may help them to qualify for a reduction to their taxes.”

    Minnesota has two programs — the K-12 education subtraction and the K-12 education credit — to help families pay expenses related to their child’s kindergarten through 12th grade education. The subtraction and credit are based on actual educational expenses for the year. To qualify, your child must be attending kindergarten through 12th grade at a public, private or home school, and you must have purchased educational services or required material during the year to assist your child’s education.

    If your household income — your federal adjusted gross income plus most nontaxable income — is $37,500 or less, you may qualify for the credit and subtraction. If your household income is more than $37,500, you may qualify for the subtraction only.

    Generally, most expenses paid for educational instruction or materials qualify. Some examples include purchases of paper, pens and notebooks; textbooks; rental or purchases of educational equipment such as musical instruments; computer hardware and educational software; after-school education, enrichment programs and summer school; and tutor fees.

    For more information, visit the Minnesota Department of Revenue website at http://www.taxes.state.mn.us/ or by calling (651)296-3781 from the Twin Cities metropolitan area or 1-800-652-9094 from elsewhere in Minnesota.

    I’m not sure what a “subtraction” is. Is that what everyone else refers to as a deduction? Regardless, it sounds like just about everything one could conceivably spend money on would qualify.

    17 Responses to “PSA: TAX CREDIT FOR HOMESCHOOLING”


    Comment by
    Lisa Giebitz
    August 27th, 2007
    at 9:58 pm

    I wonder if Texas is the same…? Anyone know how I could find out?


    Comment by
    Jeanne
    August 27th, 2007
    at 10:01 pm

    Weirdness is sure to creep in.

    I have a hard time getting educators discount at bookstores sometimes, even tho’ they intend for homeschoolers to get them. But they look at my prospective purchases and say, “Is that for CLASSROOM use?” Like, my kid reading a book not deemed textbook-enough is not educational? They argued with me over an HTML book one time. People truly do not understand what is going on in my home.

    So the government is going to decide what’s educational and deduction-worthy? Hey, does horseback riding count as enrichment? Or maybe as P.E.? Chris needs to move to Minnesota, if so.

    Can. Worms.


    Comment by
    COD
    August 27th, 2007
    at 10:11 pm

    Somehow I don’t think Delaney would be real thrilled about the 12 day riding season in MN.


    Comment by
    Nance Confer
    August 28th, 2007
    at 7:47 am

    Sounds like a pretty broad definition — one that could include riding lessons.

    But only if you itemize, I guess.

    Nance


    Comment by
    speedwell
    August 28th, 2007
    at 9:06 am

    Find out if Texas allows you to take a deduction for school supplies on your state income tax? Is this a trick question? Texas does not have a state income tax.


    Comment by
    Lisa Giebitz
    August 28th, 2007
    at 11:49 am

    D’oh!

    I shouldn’t read blogs when I want to go to sleep. Mea culpa.

    (I really did prepare our own taxes the last two years, honest!)

    I suppose my next question would be whether there is something like this for federal taxes. Probably not, but I’ve been surprised by what you CAN get deductions for.


    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    August 28th, 2007
    at 11:57 am

    I suppose my next question would be whether there is something like this for federal taxes.

    Not for parents. Teachers (and that does NOT include home educators) can deduct some pittance ($200?) for out-of-pocket expenses.


    Comment by
    COD
    August 28th, 2007
    at 1:50 pm

    Which brings up the question of why teachers are expected to spend out of pocket to do their job? A tax credit is no substitute for not giving them the proper supplies or resources in the first place.


    Comment by
    Jeanne
    August 28th, 2007
    at 2:34 pm

    Keep in mind that having or getting federal tax credits would almost certainly come at a price; then THEY would be “able” to determine what is educational or not, which could lead to all kinds of other problems for homeschoolers.


    Comment by
    Nance Confer
    August 28th, 2007
    at 9:24 pm

    Or you could just not participate if you find the receipt requests to be too intrusive.

    Nance


    Comment by
    JJ Ross
    August 28th, 2007
    at 10:07 pm

    Favorite Daughter and I bought a magazine today to which the bookstore would not apply its 20% home education discount — “they” didn’t care that it was “Philosophy Now: A Magazine of IDEAS!”
    (“They” don’t count any magazines as discountable for education use.)


    Comment by
    Nance Confer
    August 29th, 2007
    at 9:13 am

    And yet you still bought the mag.

    We may be helped by these different programs but certainly $2 off a magazine or the promise of some future tax break shouldn’t change the way we go about learning.

    Nance


    Comment by
    Jeanne
    August 29th, 2007
    at 3:30 pm

    “Or you could just not participate if you find the receipt requests to be too intrusive.”

    I am not concerned about my participation causing intrusion. I am concerned about the government defining what is educational and what is not based on other people’s participation in a tax break program – what is allowed and what is not. Tax law has huge consequence – both intended and unintended. I and how my homeschooling activities are seen/measured/deemed educational will be affected whether I personally were to take advantage of any deduction or not. Now THAT’s intrusive.

    Tax law has engineered many things in our country, and we could argue about which of those have been positive and which negative, but I don’t see any advantage in allowing it to engineer homeschooling.


    Comment by
    Nance Confer
    August 29th, 2007
    at 4:06 pm

    First, this is largely going to be defined by the participation of public school families. A system which dwarfs us, of course.

    Second, I still don’t see how anyone defining some supply or activity fee as “educational” effects your choice to use that supply or pay for that activity out of pocket as you have already been doing.

    Crayons don’t count so you’re going to stop using crayons?

    In real life, how can some tax status really effect your choices as far as school supplies?

    Nance


    Comment by
    COD
    August 29th, 2007
    at 4:54 pm

    Some, maybe a lot of states fall back on the tax code for all sorts of things that are not tax related. I can easily imagine a state that requires homeschoolers to track the time spent “in school” deciding that only activities that meet the IRS standard for deductibility will count towards the hours requirement.


    Comment by
    JJ Ross
    August 29th, 2007
    at 9:30 pm

    I can imagine that too. And unfortunately, a state claiming home education isn’t legit because there is no recognition of it in the educational exemptions and credits —


    Comment by
    Nance Confer
    August 30th, 2007
    at 12:15 pm

    OK. Does any state actually do this? Or anything close to it? Or do the ones who demand some sort of standardized accounting rely on public school standards? Or???

    It’s easy to imagine something.

    Nance