Taxpayers should save receipts to take advantage

SPRINGFIELD –  With back-to-school time upon us, the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) reminds taxpayers that they may be able to claim school expenses for their K-12 student on their 2018 Illinois individual income tax return.

Qualified education expenses include tuition, and 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, tuition, book rental and lab fees greater than $250 are eligible when attending a qualified home school program.  IDOR reminds parents to keep their receipts if they plan to take advantage.

“Parents invest a great deal in their children’s education year in and year out,” said Connie Beard, IDOR Director.  “I encourage them to save the receipts for qualifying expenses to take advantage of Illinois’ education expense credit when it comes time to file taxes.”

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The Illinois Education Expense Credit allows parents or legal guardians of a full-time student under the age of 21 to take a 25% tax credit on qualified education expenses over $250.  The total credit may not exceed $750 for tax years ending on or after December 31, 2017, regardless of the number of qualifying students.

Based on the latest final IL-1040 return data, 297,994 taxpayers claimed the Illinois Education Expense Credit in TY2016.  The total amount claimed was $77.6 million, with an average credit of $261.

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.

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