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Eligible Back-to-School Expenses Could Yield Tax Benefits for Parents and Educators

Press Release - Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Chicago - With the new school year growing closer, the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) is reminding parents, guardians, and educators that they may be able to claim school expenses for K-12 students on their 2022 Illinois individual income tax returns.

"Educational expenses can be costly for both parents and educators alike, so I encourage them to take advantage of the valuable savings provided through both the Illinois Education Expense Credit (for parents) and the Instructional Materials and Supply Credit (for teachers)," said IDOR Director David Harris." It is important for them to remember to keep their receipts for any qualifying expenses, so they are accessible when it comes time to file their taxes."

The Illinois Education Expense Credit allows parents or legal guardians of a full-time K-12 student under the age of 21, to take a 25% tax credit on qualified education expenses over $250 this year. The total credit may not exceed $750, regardless of the number of qualifying students.

Qualified educational expenses include tuition, 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 - book rental and lab fees greater than $250 are eligible when attending a qualified home school program.

Based on the latest final IL-1040 return data, over 192,500 taxpayers claimed the Illinois Education Expense Credit in Tax Year 2021. The total amount claimed was more than $63 million, with an average credit of $327.

The Instructional Materials and Supply Tax Credit allows eligible teachers of full-time K-12 students to receive a tax break for qualified expenses on classroom materials paid during the taxable year. To qualify, taxpayers must be teachers, instructors, counselors, principals, or aides in a qualified school for at least 900 hours during a school year. They can claim a credit up to $250 for qualified expenses they paid in the current taxable year, with the amount increasing to $500 in 2023. If spouses are both educators and are filing jointly, the maximum credit is $500.

Based on the latest final IL-1040 return data, over 60,000 taxpayers claimed the Instructional Materials and Supply Tax Credit in Tax Year 2021. The total amount claimed was more than $15.6 million.

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.

For additional information on the Instructional Materials Supply and Tax Credit, please see IDOR's Q & A.

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