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Parents reminded to save receipts for school supplies

Despite a cold, snowy start to spring, summer is just around the corner and your children likely have several activities to keep them busy. The Minnesota Department of Revenue wants to remind parents that some activities, like academic camps, dance lessons, and summer tutoring, could qualify for a valuable K-12 tax credit on their 2013 Minnesota return.

"We want to remind parents as they plan for this summer that many activities their children enjoy every year might qualify for education tax benefits and can save them money on their taxes," said Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans. "The first step is saving the receipts for these activities as well as the receipts for school supplies they purchase later in the summer."

There are two tax provisions that help Minnesota families pay expenses related to their child's education: the refundable K-12 education credit and the K-12 education subtraction. Both programs reduce the tax parents must pay and could provide a larger refund when filing a 2013 Minnesota Individual Income Tax Return.

To qualify:

Parents must have purchased educational services or required materials during 2013 to assist with their child's education.

The child must be attending kindergarten through 12th grade at a public, private or home school.

"Saving receipts and keeping track of your spending is a great way to boost your financial literacy and take control of your personal finances," said Commissioner Frans. "The credits for these activities and supplies can give parents a much-needed break when it comes to their budget."

Generally, most expenses paid for educational instruction or materials qualify, including paper, pens and notebooks; textbooks; rental or purchases of educational equipment such as musical instruments; computer hardware and educational software; after-school tutoring and educational summer camps. There are no income restrictions to qualify for the education subtraction; income restrictions only apply to the education credit.

Even taxpayers who are not required to file an income tax return should do so in order to claim a refund for the education credit.

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