Minnesota K-12 Education Tax Subtraction and Credit
Homeschooling doesn’t have to be expensive, but keeping up with even the incidental supplies we need day to day can be a financial drain. The state of Minnesota offers some relief for these types of expenses and more through the K-12 Education Tax Subtraction and Credit.
The subtraction and/or credit is available to all families with qualifying students in grades K-12, including, but not limited to, homeschoolers. The subtraction and credit are two different things.
- The credit applies only to families whose income falls below the qualifying limit.
- The subtraction is similar to a deduction and requires no additional qualification besides having a qualifying student.
Depending on your income, you may be able to qualify for both forms of tax relief. Note, however, that the same expenses cannot be claimed for both the credit and subtraction.
The Minnesota Department of Revenue maintains a webpage and has produced helpful fact sheets that describe the credit and subtraction, including a fact sheet specifically aimed at helping homeschool families know which expenses qualify for claiming toward the credit or subtraction. As with any deduction, you must be able to support your expenses with itemized receipts.
The tax code can change significantly from year to year. MHA wants to provide assistance with finding information regarding the tax relief programs in Minnesota. We do our best to maintain the links provided on our website, but there may be instances where a page is moved unexpectedly or a link becomes outdated. Please always verify that the tax rules you are following are for the current year. If you find a link that is no longer valid, please alert us at email@example.com.
Helpful Tax Links
- MN Dept of Revenue site
- Education Tax Subtraction and Credit fact sheet
- Qualifying Homeschool Expenses fact sheet
Aids to Nonpublic Students
Minnesota also offers homeschool families a reimbursement for some of the cost of purchasing qualifying educational materials. The reimbursement amounts vary from year to year, but the most commonly accessed reimbursement is for instructional materials, which was around $80 a student in 2013. There is additional reimbursement available for pupil health services and guidance counseling for high school students. More information about that can be found on page 12 of this Minnesota Dept. of Education document.
Qualifying materials for the reimbursement include non-religious items such as texts, workbooks, periodicals, manipulatives, and some technology items, such as educational CD-ROMs. If you have questions about whether an item will qualify, you can find some clarification in the MN statute 123B.41 or contact your district superintendent’s office. Also, be aware that the district can later claim ownership of any item that they reimburse you for. Many people find it works best to claim items that are consumable, such as workbooks.
In order to receive the reimbursement, you must contact your district for a form called Student Report for Aids to Nonpublic Students. This is often included with the packet the district sends out yearly once you’ve registered as a homeschooler. Please note that this report might need to be filed with the superintendent of your school district by an earlier deadline than the October 1st deadline for your Letter of Intent to Homeschool form. It varies by district, but they also sometimes require you to bring the items you are requesting reimbursement for in to the district office for their approval. Check with your district office regarding this requirement and the deadline for paperwork.
There is some controversy among the homeschool community as to whether homeschoolers should accept reimbursement from the state for materials. MHA takes no political stance on this issue. We support each family’s right to factor their specific situation into this decision and make the choice that is right for them.