Back-to-school shopping? Saving receipts can mean valuable tax benefits!

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Minnesota Department of Revenue


It’s almost time to start back-to-school shopping. The Minnesota Department of Revenue reminds tax professionals that most school supplies qualify for valuable K-12 tax benefits on their clients’ 2019 Minnesota income tax returns. Remind your clients to save their school supply receipts.


“Every year, parents across Minnesota invest in their children’s education by purchasing school supplies,” said Revenue Commissioner Cynthia Bauerly. “Parents should keep receipts for these purchases and claim the K-12 Education Credit or Subtraction to help save money when it comes time to file taxes.”  


What K-12 tax benefits does Minnesota offer?

Two Minnesota tax benefits help families pay their child’s education expenses: the K-12 Education Credit and the K-12 Education Subtraction.


Both benefits reduce your clients’ state tax and could provide a larger refund when filing Minnesota income tax returns. Last year, more than 33,000 families received the K-12 Education Credit and saved an average of $244. Over 178,000 families received the K-12 Education Subtraction.


Do my clients qualify for these tax benefits?

To qualify, your clients must have purchased educational services or materials in 2019 to assist with their child’s education. The child must be attending kindergarten through 12th grade at a public, private, or home school. Separate requirements apply for the credit and subtraction.


  • K-12 Education Credit: Your clients’ household income  (taxable and nontaxable income) must be below a certain level to qualify for the credit. If they qualify for the credit but do not need to file a Minnesota return, they must file a return to claim a refund. For income requirements, see the table below:


Number of qualifying children in K-12

 Household income must be less than

1 or 2




4 or more

Add $2,000 for each additional child


  • K-12 Education Subtraction: There are no income limits for the education subtraction, more of your clients qualify for it.


What educational expenses qualify? 

Most expenses for educational instruction or materials qualify, including:

  • Paper
  • Pens and notebooks
  • Textbooks
  • Rental or purchases of educational equipment, including musical instruments
  • Computer hardware and educational software (up to $200 for the subtraction and credit)
  • After-school tutoring and educational summer camps taught by a qualified instructor


To learn more about the K-12 Education Credit, see our video on how the credit works.