Back to School

Martwick announces back-to-school expenses could bring tax benefits to residents

CHICAGO – Many families are returning to school, and State Senator Robert Martwick (D-Chicago) wants to remind taxpayers they could be eligible to claim school expenses for their K-12 students on their 2021 Illinois individual income tax returns.

“Parents need help after a long year of quarantine,” Martwick said. “Illinois is helping these families pay for educational expenses, lifting a small burden from their shoulders.”

Qualified educational expenses include tuition and book and lab fees in excess of $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 a full-time K-12 student under the age of 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 should keep the receipts they receive from their children’s schools.

“This program will allow Illinois residents to receive a helping hand for educational payments,” Martwick said. “It is important these families know we are investing in the future of their families’ education.”

Based on the latest final IL-1040 return data, over 206,000 taxpayers claimed the Illinois Education Expense Credit in TY2020. The total amount claimed was more than $65.8 million, with an average credit of $319.

More about the Illinois Education Expense Credit is available in the Illinois Department of Revenue’s Publication 132 and Publication 119 (for home schooled students) located on its website,