Since tax season 2012 has officially launched, I’ll address a question I am frequently asked,
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.
Home School Legal Defense Association has an explanation of some states’ tax breaks or credits:
Some homeschoolers think they can start a business or a nonprofit organization of their homeschool activities and then deduct their expenses. It doesn’t work that way. See my blog post “Can you set up homeschooling as a business?”
Ann Zeise of A to Z Home’s Cool addresses these ideas:
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