Tax experts: Save back-to-school shopping receipts for tax benefits

With school year around the corner, the Minnesota Department of Revenue is reminding parents to save those back to school shopping receipts.
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 7:10 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 4, 2022 at 7:12 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - As the school year approaches, experts remind parents and caregivers to make sure they are saving receipts of their school supply purchases, so they are able to claim valuable K-12 tax benefits when filing their taxes next year.

“When you go to Walmart, Target, whatever, and you get the school supplies that are required, the backpacks, the school shoes that are required in the gym that you have to leave at school. Those are all tax-deductible in the state of Minnesota, keep your receipts,” said Glenice Karnes, an enrolled agent at K&K Payroll and Taxes.

In Minnesota, parents can claim either the K-12 Education Credit or subtraction when they file their income tax returns next year.

Tax experts say it is always a great way to put money back in your pocket.

“It’s a Minnesota return. It’s the education credit. So if your income is low enough, you get a credit for it. If your income is high enough, you get a deduction for it. So in either case, it’s going to be you’re going to get something,” Karnes added.

According to the Minnesota Department of Revenue, nearly 130,000 families received the K-12 Education Subtraction last year, with an average subtraction of $1,200.

To qualify, the purchases must all be for educational services or required materials.

“Expenses for things for fine arts are deductible, anything that’s educational enrichment,” Karnes explained. “Sports, on the other hand, are not deductible. So the sports fees don’t count.”

When it comes to the educational subtraction, there are no income limits to qualify.

Most expenses for educational instruction or materials qualify, including:

  • Paper;
  • Pens and notebooks;
  • Textbooks;
  • Rental or purchases of educational equipment, such as musical instruments;
  • Computer hardware (hotspots, modems, and routers) and educational software (up to $200 for the subtraction and $200 for the credit); and
  • After-school tutoring and educational summer camps taught by a qualified instructor.

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