Tax Breaks for Private K-12 Education: What You Need to Know

Are you or your child attending a private school? If so, you may be wondering if there are any tax breaks available to help offset the costs. The good news is that there are a variety of tax credits and deductions available for private K-12 education, depending on your state and other factors. In this article, we'll explore the different tax breaks available and how you can take advantage of them. You or your child can use education tax credits to deduct the costs of tuition, books, and other required materials that you pay to a qualifying school.

For additional resources from the IRS, see our tax topic on educator expense deduction. There is no simple federal tax credit or deduction for K-12 private education expenses. Most federal education-related tax credits and deductions are geared toward higher education and career-promoting continuing education, but there are other federal programs, such as Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, that help parents save money on private K-12 education in an indirect way. There is no federal credit or deduction for education when paying for a private school at the elementary or secondary level.

However, you can apply for a tax credit for a private school if you pay your children's college tuition. Section 529 savings plans are state programs that have existed for decades to help families save for their children's future college expenses, but the federal government recently changed the rules so that these plans can be used for K-12 education, such as private school enrollment. But even so, the LLC is useful because parents and students can claim the credit if they are paying for undergraduate education, graduate school, or technical school. Before paying out-of-pocket for private K-12 school, check to see if your state has a private school choice program and if your child would qualify.

Parents must also believe that the public school district is not meeting the student's needs and the student must attend an independent school. Private school parents can take advantage of a Coverdell education savings account to increase tax-free interest on their savings. To do so, the taxpayer must be a teacher, instructor, counselor, principal, or assistant in kindergarten through grade 12 for at least 900 hours a school year at a school that provides elementary or secondary education as determined by state law. Foundation Academy, a private Christian school in Winter Garden, FL, partners with families and the church to build a firm foundation for life through Christ-centered education.

Families who have not yet enrolled their children in a private k—12 school, but know they will in the coming years, can start saving on a Coverdell account in advance. Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Ohio, South Carolina and Wisconsin offer private school choice programs known as deductions and individual tax credits. Whether your child is currently attending private school or you are considering your options for the future, it's important to know what tax breaks and other deductions might be available for private K-12 education. There are several options available to help offset the costs of tuition and other expenses associated with attending a private school. From federal programs like Coverdell Education Savings Accounts to state programs like deductions and individual tax credits, there are plenty of ways to save money on private K-12 education. This publication brings together existing private school tuition deduction and credit programs from the federal government to the states and beyond.

Before making any decisions about how to pay for your child's private K-12 education expenses, it's important to research all of your options thoroughly so that you can make an informed decision about which option is best for you.

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