FERGUS FALLS – The cost of purchasing back-to-school supplies can quickly add up and Rep. Bud Nornes, R-Fergus Falls, urges people to save receipts and take advantage of tax benefits that can provide some relief.
Minnesota has both a credit and a subtraction for education expenses. Both programs reduce the tax parents pay and could provide a larger refund when filing state income tax returns for 2018. Qualifications apply and expenses must be for children attending kindergarten through 12th grade at a public, private, or home school.
“It can be expensive to provide children with the tools they need to head back to school,” Nornes said. “We all want to provide kids with the necessary educational supplies, but the cost of doing so can really mount for families. Many people may be unaware these tax credits and subtractions are available, so I encourage people to hang onto their receipts now so they can see the results next tax season. Every little bit helps in maximizing your return.”
School supplies which qualify for the credit or subtraction include writing utensils, textbooks, musical instrument rentals, tutoring and computer hardware/educational software. Common items that do not qualify for the subtraction or credit include school lunches, uniforms and backpacks. Parents are encouraged to check the Department of Revenue website (http://www.revenue.state.mn.us) to determine which expenses qualify.
While the education subtraction is not subject to income limits, the credit is limited to households with incomes less than $37,500 for families with one to two children, $39,500 for families with three children, and adding $2,000 per child for families with four or more children. The Department of Revenue indicates that last year more than 37,500 families took advantage of the education credit, saving an average of $241. More than 186,000 families took advantage of the education subtraction.
In addition to visiting the Department of Revenue’s website, Nornes encourages constituents who have questions about the credit or subtraction to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (651) 296-4946.