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Last Updated: 5/1/2018

Qualifying Child for K-12 Education Subtraction and Credit

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To claim education expenses for the K-12 Education Subtraction or Credit, you must have a “qualifying child.”

What is a qualifying child?

Your child is a qualifying child for the subtraction and credit if both of the following apply:

  • Your child attended kindergarten through 12th grade during the year.
  • Your child meets the federal definition of “qualifying child” used for the Earned Income Credit.

What if another person can also claim my child?

Only one of you may claim education expenses paid for that child. The two of you must decide who will claim the subtraction or credit. If the two of you cannot decide, the federal “tie-breaker” rule applies.

Whoever claims the subtraction or credit may only use the expenses they actually paid. You may not claim expenses the other person paid, and they may not claim expenses you paid.

For more information, see "Qualifying Child Rules" on the Internal Revenue Service website.

Do I qualify if I'm a student who bought my own school supplies?

No. You may only claim expenses you paid for a qualifying child when claiming the subtraction or credit.

For more information, see Income Tax Fact Sheet 8 - K-12 Education Subtraction and Credit.