Tax Tips for Homeschooling Families

Our own James Quandt wanted to share a few tricks he has up his sleeve that has saved his family $$ – he wants to pass those on to you!

Did you know you can take a tax credit for some of you home schooling and ODE costs?  It is viable on your Illinois state taxes, not on your federal tax return.  For the taxes most of us are working on currently, the 2019 state tax return due on 4/15/2020, the credit is for Line 16, called “Property tax and K-12 education expense credit amount from Schedule ICR.”
Follow the IL-1040 Instructions (found of course on the IL Dept. of Revenue website under Tax Forms), but the essence of the credit is: 1) You can get credit for things “significantly used up” in your teaching between 1/1/19 and 12/31/19 for your home schooled kids, including tuition (including that paid to ODE) and consumable books (workbooks in which students write), as well as PE tuition (ie, gymnastics classes, soccer instruction) to private gyms or organizations; 2) From the same website location, print or read Publication 119 and also Schedule ICR.(and Schedule ICR Instructions); 3) If you own your home, or in any other way take a property tax credit on your state taxes, Schedule ICR is already the form that you use; 4) You can only get a maximum of $750 from this, but that is pretty good! 5) Publication 119 states: “You will be allowed 25 percent of your student’s qualified education expenses after the first $250.”  After spending $250 on home school expenses during the year, you get 25 cents back for each dollar spent; 6) You need to send receipts for each expense you claim, and the receipts need certain information on them–check your receipts ahead of time, giving enough time to request the organization re-issue any receipts that lack the information (for instance, some receipts lack the issuer’s address).
We have probably gained a couple thousand dollars over the years from this credit.  More work, but more money!

*****Important Tax Update!!*******

THE DEADLINE TO FILE YOUR 2019 TAXES HAS BEEN EXTENDED FROM 4/15 to 7/15. This announcement was made by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Friday, 3/20.