Save those back-to-school shopping receipts for valuable tax benefits

Last year, more than 19,000 families received the K-12 Education Credit and saved an average of $261. Nearly 130,000 families received the K-12 Education Subtraction with an average subtraction of $1,207.

A photo illustration of money and receipts.
Contributed / Metro Newspaper Service

ST. PAUL — As students of all ages prepare for another school year, the Minnesota Department of Revenue reminds parents and caregivers to save receipts on school supply purchases to claim valuable K-12 tax benefits when filing their taxes next year.

“With July behind us, we know the upcoming school year is front of mind for many Minnesota students and their families,” said Revenue Commissioner Robert Doty in a news release. “When back to school shopping, parents should remember to save those receipts and be sure to claim either the K-12 Education Credit or Subtraction when they file their income tax returns next year. It could save them money on their tax bill or put money in their pockets in the form of a larger refund.”

Two tax benefits can help Minnesota 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 19,000 families received the K-12 Education Credit and saved an average of $261. Nearly 130,000 families received the K-12 Education Subtraction with an average subtraction of $1,207.

These programs reduce the tax parents pay and could deliver a larger refund when filing a Minnesota income tax return. To qualify, the purchases must be for educational services or required materials. The child must be attending kindergarten through 12th grade at a public, private, or home school and meet other qualifications.


Save those receiptsRemember to save your receipts to claim the credit or subtraction. Use a folder or envelope to store receipts for the upcoming tax filing season or pick up a special envelope at the department’s Minnesota State Fair booth, located in the Education Building.

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) — Note that fees for internet service do not qualify. 
  • After-school tutoring and educational summer camps taught by a qualified instructor

To qualify, household income for the K-12 Education Credit must be less than $37,500 with one or two children; $39,500 with three children; and families with four or more can add $2,000 to their income for each additional child.
Taxpayers who are not required to file an income tax return must do so in order to claim a refund for any eligible education credit.

K-12 Education SubtractionThere 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.

Watch a video to learn more about the K-12 education tax credit .

Get the latest news and updates from the Minnesota Department of Revenue by following the department on Facebook and Twitter or by signing up for its email subscription list .

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