toro pencils 092223CHICAGO — As back-to-school season kicks off, State Senator Natalie Toro is reminding taxpayers that they may be able to claim school expenses for their K-12 students on their 2023 Illinois individual income tax returns.

“As a former educator for nearly 10 years, I know how difficult it can be for parents and educators to afford necessary school supplies,” said Toro (D-Chicago). “With the cost for these materials on the rise, it is more important than ever for people to be aware of and utilize these tax benefits to help offset the costs of their school supplies.”

The Illinois Education Expense Credit allows parents or legal guardians of a full-time K-12 student to take a 25% tax credit on qualified education expenses over $250 this year, up to $750 per household. Qualified educational expenses include tuition, book rental, and lab fees in excess of $250 paid to the school where the student is enrolled on a full-time basis. For homeschooled students, book rental, and lab fees greater than $250 are eligible when attending a qualified home school program.

The K-12 Instructional Materials and Supplies Tax Credit allows eligible teachers of full-time K-12 students to receive a tax break for qualified expenses on classroom materials paid during the taxable year. To qualify, taxpayers must be teachers, instructors, counselors, principals, or aides for at least 900 hours during a school year. Increasing from last year, they can now claim a credit up to $500 for qualified expenses they paid in the current taxable year. If spouses are both educators and are filing jointly, the maximum credit is $1,000.

“Classroom materials enhance a student’s learning and can be transformative to their experience in the classroom,” said Toro. “However, parents and educators should not have to suffer financially for this. I hope these tax credits will help alleviate some of this financial burden.”

To learn more about the Illinois Education Expense Credit, visit IDOR's website at