Eligible back-to-school expenses could yield tax benefits for parents

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With the new school year here, the Illinois Department of Revenue 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.

The Illinois Education Expense Credit allows parents or legal guardians of a full-time kindergarten through 12th grade student younger than 21, to take a 25% tax credit on qualified education expenses of more than $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 more than $250 are eligible when attending a qualified home school program.

Based on the latest final IL-1040 return data, more than 192,500 taxpayers claimed the credit in tax year 2021, according to a news release. 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, more than 60,000 taxpayers claimed the credit in tax year 2021, according to the release. The total amount claimed was more than $15.6 million.

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August 27, 2022 at 11:36AM

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