This individual tax deduction program, enacted in 1955, allows parents to deduct educational expenses, including tuition, tutoring, books and more. Eligible expenses reduce a family’s taxable income when taxes are filed. Learn more about this program, including the tax deduction value, student eligibility and regulations on this page.
Declared constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1983
One of four tax deduction programs for educational expenses nationwide
209,963 participating taxpayers (2014)
100 percent of taxpaying families with children eligible statewide
Average tax deduction: $1,154 (2014)
Average deduction as a percentage of public school per-student spending: 10 percent
Minnesota provides a tax deduction covering educational expenses for students in any public, private or home school, including in North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa or Wisconsin.
The tax deduction is worth 100 percent of the amount spent on education, up to $1,625 per child in grades K–6 and $2,500 per child in grades 7–12. The tax deduction lowers a family’s taxable income and covers books, tutors, academic after-school programs and other educational expenses, including tuition payments at private schools.
Any parent or guardian who spends money on approved education expenses for a child, including tuition, is eligible to receive the deduction. Also, parents must be tax filers and have proof of eligible expenses.
Minnesota has one of the oldest school choice programs in the country, but unfortunately that age is showing. The deduction amount is far below what would offer truly meaningful choice for parents, especially parents on the lower side of the income scale. Increasing the deduction size would offer a boost to those parents utilizing school choice. A better option would be to allow tuition to also be covered by Minnesota’s tax credit for educational expenses. Mirroring the funding size of Wisconsin’s new tuition tax deduction would move this program in the right direction.
In 1983, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the tax deduction program in Mueller v. Allen, 463 U.S. 388, 103 S. Ct. 3062, 77 L. Ed. 2d 721, 1983 U.S. 96.