Any Tax Breaks for Homeschoolers?

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Tax season has officially launched, so it’s time to 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?

Sorry, but the federal government does not give a tax credits for homeschool expenses

State tax credits or deductions for homeschool expenses

But, 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

Homeschool business or nonprofit as a tax dodge?

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

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Comments

  1. 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. Woody says:

    Just stumbled across your website. Thanks for posting such concise and thorough information. It’s a valuable contribution.

  3. I think that North Carolina also has some tax credits linked to homeschooling, if your child has an IEP. The Autism Society of North Carolina has more information on their website.
    http://www.autismsociety-nc.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=398&Itemid=759

  4. It seems so unfair/wrong to be required to pay school taxes AND to pay your own way for either homeschooling or private school. It is time for new thinking.

  5. I’m looking for information regarding North Carolina’s taxes and requirements. I read that homeschooling is considered as being a job (249.02 section N of the DHS NC manual http://info.dhhs.state.nc.us/olm/manuals/dss/ei-30/man/FSs240.htm ) and should be listed so that the applicant is exempt from work requirements. This doesn’t tell me whether or not our family’s benefits will change at all. I read that many homeschoolers simply do not mention it in their applications, but I don’t want to break the law. How does homeschooling affect snap benefits, if at all?

    My partner and I are not married and therefore he is not able to claim my child on taxes. Since I do not pay in, I do not owe or get a pay out. This knocked me out of my first time homebuyers credit (the house is in my name only), a yearly dependent (child) credit, and I am assuming it will knock me out of any homeschool credit that might be available as well. Is tht right?

  6. Carol Topp says:

    I’m not familiar with NC taxes or benefit programs like SNAP, but I am familiar with federal tax credits.
    You said you do not pay in meaning, I guess, that you don’t have any income because you are homeschooling your children.
    If you don’t have income you are not entitled to income tax credits (like the first time home buyers credit, Earned Income Credit, or child tax credit. These credits are all for workers who have earned income. You have no income and no tax to pay and therefore no tax credits to lower your taxes paid.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Homeschool CPA 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.” […]

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