K–12 Private School Tuition Deduction

  • Individual Tax Credit/Deduction
  • Enacted 2013
  • Launched 2014

Wisconsin provides an income tax deduction for individuals who pay private school tuition for their dependent children. It has no income limit, and taxpaying families can apply for an individual tax deduction after paying for K–12 private school tuition. Learn more about this program, including eligibility, rules and regulations on this page.

We do not administer this program.

  • 32,410

    Participating Taxpayers (2020)

  • 14%

    of Students Eligible Statewide

  • $5,055

    Average Tax Deduction (2020)

  • 40%

    Average Deduction as a Percentage of Public School Per-student Spending

Wisconsin’s K–12 Private School Tuition Deduction Participation

Tax Year
Tax Returns Claiming Deduction

Student Funding

The tax deduction is worth up to $4,000 per child in grades K–8 and up to $10,000 per child in grades 9–12. The deduction may not be applied for tuition paid for by a voucher or a college savings account, nor may it be used for fees, transportation or room and board.

(Last updated March 1, 2023) 

Student Eligibility

Any Wisconsin taxpayer enrolling his or her children in an approved private school is eligible. Approved private schools must provide at least 875 hours of instruction per year in a sequentially progressive curriculum including reading, language arts, math, social studies, science and health.

(Last updated March 1, 2023) 

EdChoice Expert Feedback

Wisconsin’s tax deduction for private school tuition receives high marks for eligibility, as it does not have an income limit. Additionally, the amounts that may be deducted are set at levels higher than other states’ deduction programs. However, income tax deductions effectively cover only a small portion of the actual cost of educating a student and help only those families that are already paying private school tuition and have state income tax liability. Making this tax deduction a refundable tax credit would be a great improvement.

(Last updated March 1, 2023) 

Rules and Regulations

  • Income Limit: None
  • Prior Year Public School Requirement: None
  • Geographic Limit: Statewide
  • Enrollment Cap: None
  • Individual Deduction Cap: $4,000 (K–8) / $10,000 (9–12)
  • Testing Mandates: None

Parent Requirements

  • If a student is enrolled in the eighth or ninth grade in the same taxable year, the deduction must be split for the amounts of tuition paid in the respective grades, up to the $4,000 and $10,000 caps, respectively
  • Must not include amounts paid with a voucher or college savings account
  • Not deduct costs for fees, transportation or room and board

(Last updated March 1, 2023) 

Governing Statutes

Wis. Stat. § 71.05(6)(b)49

(Last updated March 1, 2023) 

K–12 Private School Tuition Deduction State Groups

That Support School Choice

School Choice Wisconsin is an organization that works to empower parents by developing, supporting and promoting the ideas and policies that create vibrant, quality options in K–12 education in Wisconsin.