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 state deduction programs for educational expenses nationwide
212,160 participating taxpayers (2016)
100 percent of taxpaying families with children eligible statewide
Average tax deduction: $1,145 (2016)
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 private or public school, including homeschooling or schools in North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa or Wisconsin. 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.
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 educational expenses for a child, including tuition, is eligible to receive the deduction. Also, parents must be Minnesota tax filers and have proof of eligible expenses.
Minnesota has one of the oldest school choice programs in the country, but unfortunately it has not grown sufficiently. 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 who utilize 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 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. “Where, as here, aid to parochial schools is available only as a result of decisions of individual parents, no “imprimatur of state approval,” can be deemed to have been conferred on any particular religion, or on religion generally.” Mueller v. Allen, 463 U.S. 388, 103 S. Ct. 3062, 77 L. Ed. 2d 721, 1983 U.S. 96.
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