As a parent, you want nothing but the very best for your kid when it comes to their education. However, education is not cheap! And if you send your child to a private school, the tuition can be pretty high.
So you may wonder, is private school tax deductible?
If you are paying for the school, it can’t hurt to find out if there are ways to lower your out-of-pocket expenses, right? It’s only natural to ask whether or not the costs of sending a child to private school could be deducted from taxes.
Read on to find out the answer to this question, as well as some other helpful related info on private school tuition and saving money.
Is Private School Tax Deductible?
The short answer is no; private school tuition fees are not usually tax deductible on a federal level. So, sorry to break it to you, but private schools are not tax deductible on your federal taxes.
In most cases, you will not be able to directly reduce your tax liability by deducting the cost of private school tuition.
We said in most cases. This means there are some situations where tuition may be tax deductible. Let’s take a closer look at this.
Education Tax Credits and Deductions
Most of the tax credits and deductions offered by the federal government to education are focused on higher education and continuing education that is career-related.
However, if your child attends a private school because of special needs, you might be eligible for a tax break that reduces the amount you have to pay for their K-12 private school tuition.
To be eligible for this program, you must provide a referral from a medical professional demonstrating that your child needs access to specialized private education.
In addition, if your child meets the requirements, you may be able to deduct not only the cost of tuition but also the expense of specialized tutoring or training.
To take advantage of this deduction, you will need to itemize your deductions rather than selecting the standard deduction.
Other options for education tax breaks
Certain states provide tax relief to families for the costs of private schools for grades K–12.
Private school choice programs, also known as individual tax credits and deductions, are available in Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Ohio, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. These programs are offered in these states.
What you can do to get tax relief for education
If you can do so, opening a Coverdell Education Savings Account could help you to benefit from some tax relief offered by the federal government. These funds are also known as “ESAs” in some circles.
Using these accounts, you can invest your funds for future schooling without having to pay taxes on the earnings.
The money from an ESA has to be used to cover approved education expenditures, which include tuition and textbooks, as well as any other costs necessary for the educational program your child is participating in.
You can also use the money you’ve accumulated in 529 plans to pay for tuition from kindergarten through 12th grade. These accounts allow the student to make tax-free withdrawals of up to $10,000 per year from their balances.
However, in contrast to Coverdell accounts, money from a 529 plan can only be used for tuition and not for textbooks, computers, or any other fees or activities.
To sum it up, private school tuition is not federally tax deductible, but there are alternatives that you can explore.