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What expenses qualify?

In Minnesota, the K-12 Education Subtraction and Credit programs cover a variety of expenses that are eligible if they are paid for a qualifying child. Here’s a summary of what typically qualifies:

  1. Normal School Day Expenses: This includes most educational instruction or materials required for subjects normally taught in public school grades K-12, such as:
    • Textbooks and other instructional materials like paper, pens, pencils, notebooks, and rulers.
    • Instructional fees for field trips during the school day, including local transportation and entrance fees.
    • Rental or purchase of educational equipment required for classes, like musical instruments and calculators.
    • Home schooling expenses for supplies and materials, as long as they’re not primarily religious in nature.
  2. Subtraction-Only Expenses: These include:
    • Tuition for private schools.
    • Tuition for college courses and summer school courses that satisfy high school graduation requirements.
  3. After-School and Summer Programs: The instructional part of fees for after-school or summer enrichment programs qualifies, including private tutoring. However, this does not cover materials, supplies, transportation, or room and board. The programs must be academic in nature and taught by a qualified instructor.
  4. Driver’s Education Classes: Instructor fees for driver’s education can be claimed if they are part of the school’s curriculum.
  5. Transportation Expenses: These qualify if paid to others for transportation during the school day, including to and from school, or for field trips. However, transportation to or from extracurricular activities does not qualify.
  6. Computer Hardware and Educational Software: These are qualifying expenses as long as they are used for learning academic subjects at home and are not used for trade or business. There’s a limit of $200 for the credit and $200 for the subtraction per year.

It’s important to note that you need to have records to prove you paid these expenses, like itemized cash register receipts, invoices, and canceled checks. Additionally, you can’t use the same qualified education expenses to claim both the subtraction and the credit.

For more detailed information and specific examples, please refer to the Minnesota Department of Revenue’s pages on Qualifying Expenses and K-12 Education Subtraction and Credit.