Back to school shopping can mean tax savings for Minnesota parents!

Date of Release

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota State Fair is on the horizon and summer is winding down. It’s that time of year when many Minnesota families start back to school shopping. With a little planning, parents who save receipts for school supply purchases may claim valuable K-12 tax benefits on their Minnesota income tax return.

“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.”

Two tax benefits can help Minnesota families pay expenses related to their child’s education: the refundable K-12 Education Credit (income limits apply) and the K-12 Education Subtraction (no income limits).

Last year, more than 33,000 families received the K-12 Education Credit, saving an average of $244. Over 178,000 families received the K-12 Education Subtraction last year.

These programs reduce the tax parents pay and could deliver a larger refund when filing a Minnesota income tax return. To qualify, the purchases must be for educational services or required materials.

The child must be attending kindergarten through 12th grade at a public, private, or home school and meet other qualifications.

Save those receipts
Remember to save your receipts to claim the credit or subtraction.  Visit the Revenue booth at the Minnesota State Fair in the Education Building to get special envelopes for your school supply receipts.

Most expenses for educational instruction or materials qualify, including:

  • Paper
  • Pens and notebooks
  • Textbooks
  • Rental or purchases of educational equipment such as musical instruments
  • Computer hardware and educational software
  • After-school tutoring and educational summer camps taught by a qualified instructor

 Household Income for the K-12 Education Credit 

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


Taxpayers who are not required to file an income tax return must do so in order to claim a refund for any eligible education credit.

K-12 Education Subtraction
There are no income limits to qualify for the education subtraction. Most parents qualify. Parents can claim the K-12 Subtraction for tuition paid to private schools or college courses used to satisfy high school graduation requirements.

Check out our video to learn more about the K-12 education tax credit.

Get the latest news and updates from the Minnesota Department of Revenue by following the department on Facebook and Twitter or by signing up for our email subscription list.

Ryan Brown