Get money back at tax time when you save your receipts!

Minnesota parents who keep their back-to-school shopping receipts can get more at tax time when they claim the Minnesota K-12 Education Credit on their return. Take it from Tameya who has a son and received 75 cents back on every dollar she spent on school supplies in 2013.

For Tameya, saving her receipts went a long way. Last April, her father underwent a triple bypass surgery, suffered a major stroke, and was left paralyzed on the left side of his body. Living on her own income to support her and her son, Tameya lost her job while caring for her father and mother.

Tameya felt a great deal of relief when she learned that she qualified for Prepare + Prosper’s free tax preparation services where a volunteer assisted her in claiming tax credits like the K-12 Education Credit.

Here’s what you need to know to claim the K-12 Education Credit:

You may claim this credit on your Minnesota income tax return for up to 75% of qualifying educational expenses which you can see below.

There is a maximum household income limit:

Qualifying Children Household Income Limit
1-2 $37,500
3 $39,500
4 $41,500
5 $43,500
6 or more $43,500 plus $2,000 for each additional child


Save your receipts!

To claim the credit save your receives for when it’s time to file taxes and keep them somewhere you can remember to find for tax season. You must prove you paid the expenses showing each item.

The credit amount is up to 75% of qualifying expenses, such as:

  • Paper, pens, pencils, notebooks, and rulers
  • Purchase or rental of musical instruments required for day-time classes
  • Transportation fees for school-time field trips
  • After school educational programs, tutoring, or academic summer camps
  • Computer hardware, educational software purchases (only up to $200 in computer and software expenses can be used to calculate the credit)

Here’s a quick way to calculate your refund! 

Total Educational Expenses x .75 = K-12 Education Credit Amount

Example: $300 x .75 = $225

For every dollar you spend, you are refunded 75 cents.

If you don’t need to file taxes, you should still file a tax return when you’re eligible for refundable credits like the K-12 Education Credit.

Filing a Minnesota tax return for free

If preparing on paper, you should complete Schedule M1ED to determine your credit amount and list the credit amount on your Minnesota Form M1, Individual Income Tax Return. (Click here for the appropriate forms.)

Alternatively, you can try, which will allow you to file your state taxes online for free.

If you want in-person help to complete your return, Minnesota also has hundreds of locations where trained volunteer tax preparers can help you for free. Make sure you save the receipts of any expenses you think you can claim and have a trained tax preparer sort it out for you.

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