Back-to-school expenses could yield tax benefits

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Taxpayers should save receipts to take advantage

information provided by the Illinois Department of Revenue

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (August 31, 2018) – The Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) reminds taxpayers that they may be able to claim school expenses for their K-12 students on their 2018 Illinois individual income tax return.

Qualified education expenses include tuition, and book and lab fees in excess of $250 paid to the school where the student is enrolled on a full-time basis. For home-schooled students, tuition, book rental, and lab fees greater than $250 are eligible when attending a qualified home school program. IDOR reminds parents to keep their receipts if they plan to take advantage.

The Illinois Education Expense Credit allows parents or legal guardians of a full-time student under the age of 21 to take a 25% tax credit on qualified education expenses over $250. The total credit may not exceed $750 for tax years ending on or after December 31, 2017, regardless of the number of qualifying students.

Based on the latest final IL-1040 return data, 297,994 taxpayers claimed the Illinois Education Expense Credit in TY2016. The total amount claimed was $77.6 million, with an average credit of $261.

To learn more about the Illinois Education Expense Credit, please read IDOR Publication 132 and Publication 119 (for home-schooled students) located on IDOR’s website tax.illinois.gov.