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Minnesota homeschool families can claim education expenses when filing tax returns

Homeschooling families in Minnesota do qualify for some tax credits and subtractions. The general rule for homeschoolers is that if the material is needed and used to teach traditional courses such as math, science, and languages, then the items will most likely qualify. Texts must, however, be “nonreligious” in nature as defined by the MN Department of Revenue.

Materials that do not qualify for either the tax credit or the subtraction include items to arrange the homeschool such as:

  • Globes
  • Desks
  • Whiteboards
  • Maps
  • Printed encyclopedias

For a complete list of items that do not qualify for the homeschool tax credit or subtraction the MN Department of Revenue has created a fact sheet .

Homeschool families may claim those items that would normally be needed to participate in gym classes, such as tennis shoes. Families may not, however, claim the purchases of baseballs or other gym equipment.

When determining if your homeschool purchase qualifies for tax credit or subtraction, it is important to determine if the large equipment would be typically provided by a public school. For instance, if you are teaching your homeschooled child Home Economics, you may not claim the cost of the stove or a new mixer. You could claim a cookbook for use by your child during those lessons.

The MN Department of Revenue has also prepared other fact sheets to assist in determining which homeschool materials qualify for tax credits. As with any other income tax filing, providing the paperwork proof is essential. Several families in the Mankato, MN area have been flagged and audited for their homeschool expenses. Each of those families provided the necessary receipts and received their returns.

When in doubt, keep your receipts for everything throughout the calendar year in a recipe card box, then compare those expenses with the lists on the fact sheets to determine eligibility. The qualifications and laws can change from year to year so it is important to verify your expenses each year. The minimal effort can add up to savings – an important lesson for all MN homeschoolers.

 

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