school supplies 090121WEST CHICAGO – As children return to school, State Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago) is making sure parents know they may be able to claim their students’ school expenses on their 2021 Illinois individual tax returns. 

“Back-to-school expenses can be a burden, but parents now have the opportunity to receive tax benefits if they take the right steps,” Villa said. “Families should remember to claim these expenses on their tax returns to help prepare their children for a bright academic future.” 

Qualified educational expenses include tuition and book and lab fees more than $250 paid to the school where the student is enrolled on a full-time basis.  For home schooled students — book rental and lab fees greater than $250 are eligible when attending a qualified home school program.

The Illinois Education Expense Credit allows parents or legal guardians of full-time K-12 students younger than 21 to take a 25% tax credit on qualified education expenses over $250.  The total credit may not exceed $750, regardless of the number of qualifying students. Parents must attach a receipt they receive from the school and potentially fill out a schedule when they file their taxes.

"Parents invest a great deal in education so I encourage them to take advantage of this valuable savings,” Illinois Department of Revenue Director David Harris said. “It is just important for them to remember to keep the receipts for any qualifying expenses, so they are accessible when it comes time to file their taxes.”

More information about the Illinois Education Expensive Credit can be found on IDOR’s website.