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How to claim a school supply credit or subtraction when you file taxes

School is expensive, but you can get some money back on the things your child uses every day in the classroom.

LAKEVILLE, Minn. — Between the new clothes and new supplies, going back to school can be expensive. But there is a way to get some of that money back when you file your taxes.

The Minnesota Department of Revenue has two tax relief programs for families with kids in kindergarten through 12th grade.

You can get up to 75% back of the qualifying expenses by claiming the credit.

Depending on how many kids you have and if you have a household income between $37,500-$43,500, you can get credit or money back on your tax returns when you purchase certain school supplies.

If your income is greater than that, you can still get money back through subtraction, meaning the qualifying school supplies expenses would get subtracted from your taxable income at tax time.

Depending on how many kids you have, and what grade they’re in, you can subtract up to $1,625, or $2,500 per child.

Items eligible for the credit/subtraction include:

  • Textbooks and school supplies like pencils and notebooks
  • After school tutoring or music lessons if it's with a licensed teacher
  • Computers
  • Renting musical instruments and other performing arts fees

Items you can’t claim:

  • School clothes
  • Sports camps
  • Internet fees
  • Backpacks

For a full list of eligible items click here.

Pam Heimdal is the owner of Heimdal Tax and Financial Services in Lakeville and says she helps people take advantage of these programs every year.

“Minnesota is a lower tax rate so it doesn’t always amount to a huge amount of dollars back in their [Minnesotans] pockets, but it is still worthwhile,” Heimdal said.

Heimdal says you can narrow down items that are eligible by noting what is strictly for education or simply put:

“The dance lessons count, but the costumes do not,” Heimdal said.

You need to keep all your receipts, otherwise you won’t see the money. Heimdal suggests keeping them in a folder near your other tax paperwork so when it comes time to file, you’re good to go.

For more information on tax credit/subtraction with school supplies click here.

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