It’s that time of year when many families start back to school shopping. With a little planning, parents who save receipts for school supply purchases may claim valuable K-12 tax benefits on their Minnesota income tax return.

Two tax benefits can help families pay expenses related to their child’s education: the refundable K-12 Education Credit (income limits apply) and the K-12 Education Subtraction (no income limits).

Last year, more than 33,000 families received the K-12 Education Credit, saving an average of $244. Over 178,000 families received the K-12 Education Subtraction last year.

To qualify, the purchases must be for educational services or required materials, and the student must be attending kindergarten through 12th grade at a public, private or home school and meet other qualifications.

Remember to save your receipts to claim the credit or subtraction. Visit the Revenue booth at the Minnesota State Fair in the Education Building to get special envelopes for your school supply receipts.

Most expenses for educational instruction or materials qualify, including: paper pens, notebooks, textbooks rental, purchases of educational equipment such as musical instruments, computer hardware, educational software, after-school tutoring and educational summer camps taught by a qualified instructor.

Household Income for the K-12 Education Credit

There are no income limits to qualify for the education subtraction. Most parents qualify. Parents can claim the K-12 Subtraction for tuition paid to private schools or college courses used to satisfy high school graduation requirements.