Many back-to-school expenses eligible for state income tax deductions

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Department of Revenue encourages families to retain their receipts while shopping for back-to-school items such as books, uniforms, supplies, and equipment required by schools. Many families will buy these items during the state’s annual sales tax holiday August 1 and 2, when most retail purchases are exempt from the 4 percent state sales tax. But they might not know these expenses may qualify also for a series of income tax deductions on their state individual income tax returns.

And these deductions apply to eligible expenses paid throughout the tax year, not only during the two-day sales tax holiday.

There are three income tax breaks under the Louisiana School Tuition and Expense Deductions:

Income Tax Deduction for Elementary and Secondary School Tuition - Allows an income tax deduction for amounts paid during the year for tuition and fees at a qualifying nonpublic elementary or secondary school. The deduction is for 100 percent of qualified expenses paid per dependent, limited to $5,000 per dependent.

Income Tax Deduction for a Quality Public Education – Allows an income tax deduction for the following expenses for a dependent enrolled in a public elementary or secondary school:

  • Purchases of school uniforms required by schools for general day-to-day use
  • Purchases of textbooks, curricula or other instructional materials required by schools
  • Purchases of school supplies required by schools

The deduction is for 50 percent of qualified expenses paid per dependent, limited to $5,000 per dependent.

Income Tax Deduction for Home-Schooling Expenses – Allows an income tax deduction for amounts paid for the purchase of textbook and curricula necessary for home-schooling. The deduction is for 50 percent of qualified expenses paid per dependent, limited to $5,000 per dependent.

These deductions can reduce your taxable income when you file your 2014 Louisiana Individual Income Tax Return by May 15, 2015. To qualify, you must be able to claim the student as a dependent on your state individual income tax return, and you must be able to document the expenses.

Visit www.revenue.louisiana.gov/schooldeduction for a full explanation of the provisions of the Louisiana School Tuition and Expense Deductions.

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School expenses eligible for Louisiana state income tax deductions

BATON ROUGE – Education expenses paid during the 2011 tax year may be eligible for Louisiana state income tax deductions.  The Louisiana School Tuition and Expense Tax Deductions apply to tuition, school supplies, uniforms and home-schooling expenses.

There are three separate deductions:

  • Elementary and Secondary School Tuition (La. R.S. 47:297.10) – Applies to 100 percent of eligible expenses paid during the tax year, limited to $5,000 per dependent child enrolled in a nonpublic elementary or secondary school.  Eligible expenses include tuition, fees, uniforms, textbooks and other supplies required by the school.
  • Education Expenses for Home-schooled Children (La. R.S. 47:297.11) – Applies to 50 percent of eligible expenses paid during the tax year, limited to $5,000 per dependent.  Eligible expenses include amounts paid for the purchase of textbooks and curricula necessary for home-schooling.  To qualify for the deduction, you must be approved by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) for home-schooling.
  • Educational Expenses for a Quality Public Education (La. R.S. 47:297.12) – Applies to 50 percent of eligible expenses paid during the tax year, limited to $5,000 per dependent child enrolled in a public elementary or secondary school, including Louisiana Department of Education-approved charter schools.  Eligible expenses include uniforms, textbooks and other supplies required by the school.

To claim any of these deductions, you must be able to claim the student as a dependent on your Louisiana Individual Income Tax Return.  You must also be able to provide documentation of expenses paid. 

Visit www.revenue.louisiana.gov/schooldeduction for more information.

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Louisiana School Tuition and Expense Tax Deduction

The Louisiana School Tuition and Expense Tax Deduction is in effect for educational expenses paid during 2009.

This is a tax deduction that can reduce the amount of your Louisiana taxable income. It is not a tax credit. The deduction is for 50 percent of the money you spend on education, up to $5,000 per student. It applies to tuition for private and parochial schools and to expenses for uniforms, school supplies, and study materials for all primary and secondary school students. Home-schooling expenses are eligible for this tax deduction.

The deduction cannot exceed the amount of your taxable income.

To claim the deduction, you must be able to claim the student as a dependent on your Louisiana Resident Individual Income Tax Return. Eligible expenses are to be reported on Schedule E, Form IT-540 when you file your state income tax return due on May 15, 2010.

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