Any Tax Breaks for Homeschoolers?

Since tax season 2009 has officially launched, I’ll address a question I am frequently asked,handswithcash

Do homeschoolers get any tax breaks for their homeschooling expenses? Can a homeschool family deduct any of their homeschool expenses?

The simple answer is “No; there are no tax credits for homeschool expenses from the federal government.”

The longer answer is “Maybe, depending on what state you live in.”

Several states have an educational tax credit. Iowa, Arizona, Minnesota and Illinois all have some sort of  tax break for individuals. The credit is available to any public or private school student, so it is not unique to homeschoolers. Florida and Pennsylvania offer businesses tax credits if they sponsor a scholarship.

This document has a chart of education tax credits and deductions by state (updated November 2008). Scroll to page 6 to see the chart.

http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/hrd/pubs/feelaw.pdf

Home School Legal Defense Association has an explanation of some states’ tax breaks or credits:

http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/000010/200504150.asp

Homeschoolers can get creative and think perhaps they can start a business or a nonprofit organization of their homeschool activities and then deduct their expenses.  Ann Zeise of A to Z Home’s Cool addresses these ideas:

http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/articles/031401.htm

You cannot contribute to your own child’s K12 education and get any tax deduction for it, no more than if you sent him to a private school and tried to write off the tuition.

Carol Topp, CPA

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2 Responses to Any Tax Breaks for Homeschoolers?

  1. Karen Davis says:

    A tax break is nice but I think I will accept the status quo. Government goodies are always tied with a red tape bow!

  2. JMille says:

    I would love to see a sense of fairness applied to educational taxes. I have often thought that one way of achieving this, without involving the IRS or Uncle Sam, would be to provide tax breaks at the state level. For example, my county charges property taxes that include school taxes. The school taxes collected are given to whichever school district in which they own property. Why not allow individuals to direct the money to the school that their child/ren attend(s), including private schools; or in the instance of homeschooling, deduct the school taxes or reimburse the amount taxed from the property taxes.

    It wouldn’t be much and it may not apply to everyone but every little bit helps these days. Just a thought.

    PS…Also, public schools would still retain taxes gained from the students’ families as well as those who do not have children/non-school aged children.

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