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Category: Illinois

Am I eligible for an Illinois K-12 education expense credit?

You may figure a credit for qualified education expenses, in excess of $250, you paid during 2013 if

  • you were the parent or legal guardian of a full-time student who was under the age of 21 at the close of the school year,
  • you and your student were Illinois residents when you paid the expenses, and
  • your student attended kindergarten (at a school that also has a first grade) through twelfth grade at a public or nonpublic school in Illinois during 2013.

NOTE: If you home school your children see Publication 119, K-12 Education Expense Credit General Rules and Requirements for Home Schools.

NOTE: If you are the parents or legal guardians of a qualified student and you are filing separate Illinois returns, you may each claim an education expense credit. However, you both may not claim a credit for the same expenses, and the total amount of credit claimed between both parents or guardians may not exceed $500.

Qualified education expenses
Education expenses that qualify for this credit include

  • tuition (including summer school classes meeting elementary or secondary graduation requirements)
  • book fees covering the rental of books that were required as a part of the school’s education program.
  • lab fees covering the use of supplies, equipment, materials, or instruments that were required as part of a lab course in the school’s education program. For example, if you rented a musical instrument from the school (not from a business) for a class, or for participation in an extracurricular activity that resulted in a credit toward completion of the school’s education program, this rental expense qualifies as an education expense.

Education expenses that do not qualify for this credit include

  • expenses paid to a daycare, preschool, kindergarten at a school that does not also have a first grade, college, university, independent tutoring service, or trade school.
  • expenses paid for the purchase of supplies, books, or equipment that are not significantly used up during the school year (e.g., purchasing musical instruments, costumes for a play).
  • expenses paid for the use of supplies, equipment, materials, or instruments if the program does not result in a credit towards completion of the school’s education program.
  • expenses paid directly to a business (e.g., renting a musical instrument from a music store).
  • expenses for after school care, even if paid to the school.
  • expenses paid for yourself or your spouse.

For more details, see Publication 132, Education Expense Credit General Rules and Requirements for Parents and Guardians.