This post is part of a series titled, “Homeschool Q&A.” The series features questions we’ve received from parents on a variety of topics–and the answers!
Q. Can homeschoolers get a federal tax deduction for education expenses?
A. No. The IRS 2010 Form 1040 instructions clearly say:
Qualified expenses do not include expenses for home schooling or for nonathletic supplies in health or physical education. [emphasis ours]
2010 Form 1040—Lines 21 and 23, page 27
There is a general tax deduction for teachers for up to $250 of qualified out-of-pocket expenses for books and classroom supplies. This deduction was included in the Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002 and was extended in 2010 for one more year. This tax law amended the tax code (26 U.S.C. Sect. 62(a)(2)) dealing with employee deductions.
The IRS guidelines state that in order to be qualified as an eligible educator, “You work at least 900 hours a school year in a school that provides elementary or secondary education, as determined under state law.”
Some states offer education tax credits. Although education tax credit legislation has been introduced in Virginia for business donations, Virginia does not offer tax credits for homeschoolers.
*This information is not to be construed to be legal advice.